Synergy Home Advantage

Cotton Mill Lofts

by Edward Foskey

Cotton Mill Lofts is a 32 unit general family affordable housing apartment community located in Hawkinsville, Georgia, along the Ocmulgee River. This project qualified for incentives under the Georgia Power Earthcents home energy improvement program and was also certified under the EarthCraft Multifamily Renovation program.

This property was the second project for Synergy Home Advantage.

Cotton Mill Lofts is special in many ways. The original building was constructed in the late 1800’s. This was an adaptive reuse project converting a building originally designed to be a cotton mill. The property is, most recently, the former Pillowtex Mill.

Partial funding came under HUD’s HOPE VI Main Street program, a special grant designed to expand the production of affordable housing to rural communities’ historic central business or “Main Street” areas. The Cotton Mill Lofts project is part of a broader effort by the city of Hawkinsville to revitalize their downtown.

Cotton Mill Lofts is owned and operated by Landmark Property Management Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The general contractor for this project was Rehab Builders of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They specialize in adaptive reuse projects.

Synergy entered the affordable general family housing portion of this project at the beginning of the EarthCraft-related phases of construction. When Ed first entered the building, he was scared! He was scared for his safety when looking at the condition of the building. He was also scared that the owner and general contractor would never be able to reach their goals. Synergy is glad to report that both fears were proven to be wrong. Ed did not fall through a floor or through the roof. And yes, they met or exceeded each of their goals.

In summary, their goals were to:

  • Retain as much of the original character of the building.
  • Repair the sub-structures of the building
  • Convert the building into 32 apartments (a combination of single story, loft, and townhouse style) all under one structure.
  • Meet all of the energy efficiency and sustainability goals.
Besides the 32 affordable housing units, the project also included 11 market rate housing units and a Community Market.

Under the Georgia Power Earthcents Home Energy Improvement Program the combination of improvements and test results indicated that the tenants in these apartments should see an energy savings of nearly 45% (on average) versus apartments constructed to current building and energy codes. Think about it… beauty and energy efficiency all in one package! Yes, it can be done!

Synergy was given two photos that were taken by the general contractor more than 2 years prior to Synergy entering the project. Synergy also has a great collection of before and after photos. They will tell more of the story than we ever could with words. Click here to see the photo album.

Please note that Synergy Home Advantage’s only role in any project is to provide Energy Efficiency Related advisory and testing services. Synergy has no other involvement with this property.

For additional information, please call 478-783-4885

The Cotton Mill Lofts project was awarded the 2013 EarthCraft Award of Environmental Excellence!