Ken Elkins
By ken

DHD Plans to Refit a Waxhaw Textile Mill Into a Mixed-Use Project

Redeveloped Waxhaw mill to combine apartments with offices and a restaurant space. The DHD Ventures project at the former Rodman-Heath mill will bring the Union County town some of its first apartments in at least a decade. Work on The Cotton Flats development will start in January. Plans call for having at least one component of the project ready for tenants in the late summer, says Brian Cillian, developer at DHD Ventures.

“We want to create a new level of activity for living and staying in Waxhaw,” Cillian says. “The growth is there and all of the demographics are there.”

When complete, The Cotton Flats will have 70 loft-style apartment units, about 10,000 square feet of space for offices and a 5,000-square-foot restaurant.

Cillian and Jason Teller, DHD Ventures managing partner, were looking for projects in south Charlotte and Waxhaw and found the Rodman-Heath mill, which is located near where both live in Union County. Eventually, DHD Ventures may move its office to the development.

Also in Waxhaw, Cillian and Teller have an option to buy 20 acres for a flex-space development that would provide Monroe-Union County Economic Development space for light-industrial development.

But first, DHD Ventures will spend time on redeveloping the mill into The Cotton Flats.


Cillian likes the space that’s being reserved for the restaurant, he says. Diners would enter next to the mill’s smokestack, which will be preserved. “It’s a really cool, unique restaurant space,” he says. There’s room for an atrium or mezzanine up front. Exposed brick and timber framing will give the restaurant a flavor of the mill’s history. The structure was built in 1896 as a cotton mill.

The Cotton Flats building comprises 80,000 square feet on seven acres. It’s on East South Main Street, which is also N.C. Highway 75.

The apartment tenants will have access to a swimming pool, dog park and outdoor activities area. Rents for the apartments, which are expected to be one- and two-bedroom units with high ceilings, haven’t been set.

DHD Ventures has built luxury student housing at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn., and at Coastal Carolina University in Conway. It also owns the Novant building in Waxhaw.

Its Rochester, N.Y., office also completed The Button Lofts in an old mill there in 2014. Its 111 on East project, also in Rochester, is another redeveloped mill with 240 apartments.