Capitola Mill Redevelopment, LLC. (“CMR”), a management and historic property renovation company, is transforming the former Capitola Manufacturing Company Cotton Yarn Mill (“Capitola Mill”) into 18 market rate loft apartments and approximately 12,000 sf of mixed-use commercial space including 11 office suites/studios and 3 flexible spaces.
Design & Amenities
The 1st floor will have 11 office suites/studios with glass storefronts and 3 flexible commercial/retail spaces. Health-oriented businesses are planned for the flexible spaces and a Chinese medicine herbal shop/treatment center, a yoga center, and a day spa have all expressed interest. A glass-walled common area will include a kitchenette and entertainment/media lounge. Public and ADA compliant restrooms with lockers and changing stalls will be directly across from the fitness center outfitted with stationary bikes, treadmills, rowing machine, free weights, stacked weight cable machine, and yoga/stretching equipment.
The 2nd and 3rd floors will each have 9 residential apartments including 1 3BR/2BA, 15 2BR/2BA, and 3
1 BR/1BA units. Unit amenities include 13-foot ceilings, open floor plans, Kitchen-Aid brand stainless steel appliance packages, kitchen islands, granite countertops, custom cabinetry, industrial-style light fixtures, glass-front walk-in showers, sleek bathroom vanity sets with medicine/linen storage, extra built-in storage above bedroom closets, and in-unit utility rooms with front-loading washers/dryers.
Landlord and prospective spa tenant will jointly build-out the Power Station with a custom infrared sauna, rinse shower, cold plunge pool, modern gas fireplace, and relaxation lounge. A wooden deck between the Power Station and Mill will include a large hot tub accommodating up to 7 people, Spa Pool for lap swimmers, outdoor gas fireplace, outdoor shower, sunbathing loungers, and dog wash station.
The complex will include on-site parking as well as common green space along the French Broad River, fishing dock, outdoor grilling area, and walking paths along the rock ridge behind the mill. A roof-top deck with comfortable seating will crown the project and provide tenants with glorious views of the French Broad River, surrounding Appalachian Mountains, and the Town of Marshall.
Built in 1905 Capitola Mill is approximately 37,584 square-feet in size, three stories tall and sits immediately adjacent to the French Broad River. The mill is solid brick construction, heavy timbers and concrete floors. In 1908 the mill was included in an investigation of child labor conditions by the United States Department of Labor and is mentioned in the book, The Child that Toileth Not (Dawley, Thomas Robinson, Jr., New York, New York: Gracia Publishing, 1912). There were only a handful of cotton yarn or textile mills located in North Carolina within or just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Capitola is the only surviving intact mill of this group. Since the early 1990’s the mill has stood vacant on the banks of the French Broad River directly across from Marshall’s Historic Downtown District.
Mr. Whitlock is originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina and comes from a long line of mill workers working in various Milliken-owned mills in and around Pacolet, SC. During the summer in high school, he worked at Drayton Mill and spent weekends working at various mills along with his father who worked for a mill maintenance company. After graduating college and law school, renovating an old textile mill remained a nagging ambition. In 1999, Mr. Whitlock purchased a vacant bank building in Marshall, NC, put it on the National Registry, and renovated it. Then he renovated the old A&P Store building in that same town. So in 2004, when Madison County decided to auction off the old textile mill, Mr. Whitlock jumped at the chance to fulfill a long time goal. He began stabilizing this long neglected building, put it on the National Registry in August 28, 2012, and waited for the right time to renovate it. In 2021, the Capitola Mill was opened for occupancy and was immediately fully-occupied. In 2022, Capitola Mill was honored to receive the Gertrude S. Carraway Award from Preservation North Carolina for demonstrating a genuine commitment to historic preservation.
The project is located at the south side of the French Broad River directly across a bridge with pedestrian walkway leading to the town of Marshall, NC, the county seat of Madison County. Marshall celebrates its colorful past while passionately embracing the contemporary. Humorously, an old saying for the town is “a mile long, a street wide, sky high and hell deep”! Today’s motto is “the creative life on the river”. “…Urban refugees with their laptops, old-timers talking about the weather, hipsters scribbling in their sketchbooks. All part of the community” per Carolina Home Magazine, Summer Edition 2009.
Since becoming deeply involved in Marshall over 20 years ago, a substantial amount of development activity has taken root in the area. Retail activity and foot traffic in downtown Marshall continue to be strong, though slightly less during the pandemic. Today’s main street is quirky and charming lined with a health food grocery, multiple art galleries, retail shops, an old-time general store, local coffee shop, brew pub, restaurants serving everything from regional home-cooking to cuisine from award-winning chefs, music venues, multiple B&Bs, and the Madison County Arts Council. The newest business to open is Banker’s Hours Co-Working located in the old Bank of the French Broad (both the business and building are owned by Mr. Whitlock). Another project where Mr. Whitlock is a partner is the renovation of the Old Marshall Jail with five B&B “jail cell restyled” rooms, a bodega, and café with patio seating on the banks of the river. Also of note, Asheville Kombucha Mamas, LLC relocated their main manufacturing facility for their Buchi brand kombucha beverage line (sold at Whole Foods and other national chain groceries) on the outskirts of Marshall.
Marshall is a growing center for the arts and draws many talented weavers, potters, furniture makers, jewelers, fine arts painters, and craftsmen to the area with some relocating from the River Arts District of Asheville. In 2007 the old high school on Blannahasset Island of the French Broad was converted to Marshall High Studios, containing twenty-eight artist studios and a community space. Flow Gallery is housed on the first floor of the Redmon Building, owned by Mr. Whitlock. Opened in 2010 by eight women artists, Flow has a magnificent display of artwork. Last year it was awarded Best Art Gallery and Best Innovative Business in Western North Carolina by Mountain Xpress Magazine.
Music is also a vital part of this community. The Depot, housed in the old train station, is the place to be on Friday nights for local mountain music. Zuma Coffee has an active music program that rotates from Jazz Mondays with Steve Davidowski formerly of the Dixie Dregs, to Open Mic Wednesdays, to Blue Grass Thursdays with 10 time Grammy Award winner Bobby Hicks on the fiddle! The coronavirus has impacted the music venues, but these musicians make Marshall their home and are eager to entertain again soon.
Other local events include French Broad Fridays when stores and studios are open late into the evening. An open-air market is held on Blannahasset Island every Sunday with farmers and food artisans. Farm to Table is a way of life here and the wonderful organic meats, cheeses, breads, and produce are really something to savor. The Annual Mermaid Festival is a unique event with nautical-themed floats parading down Main Street, community potluck, and dance. Each July Madison County is host to the Hot Doggett 100 Bicycle Race offering three challenging routes through the mountains and towns, including Marshall. This event draws riders from all over North Carolina, the bordering states, and from as far away as Rhode Island, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas, and California. Visitors to Marshall also enjoy outdoor adventures such as hiking on the Appalachian Trail, rafting on the French Broad River, camping, trout fishing, and snow skiing. Holidays are celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm – leaving visitors with that “It’s a Wonderful Life” feeling.