Thursday, Feb. 9, 2018
(News 12 at 6 O'Clock / NBC 26 News at 7)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Work continues at Sibley Mill to create what they're calling Augusta Cyberworks, a cyber tech campus with a data center and office spaces. The same developer at Sibley Mill has just bought the even larger King Mill right next door. They have plans to turn that old mill into apartments.
"You drive into Augusta on Riverwatch Parkway, and the first thing you see are Sibley and King Mill," said James Ainslie, CEO Cape Augusta.
Monuments to the past sit right at the doorstep to downtown Augusta. Sibley and King Mill, once a hub for employment, sat empty for years until Cape Augusta came in with a big plan.
"It'll be much more focused to a lifestyle destination than just a residential complex," said Ainslie.
While work continues on Sibley Mill, the even large King Mill is next in line. Cape Augusta officially bought the property from Augusta's Canal Authority.
"Even though they're two seperate projects or mills, they're really working in tandom," said Dayton Sherrouse, Executive Director of Augusta's Canal Authority.
The plan for King Mill is coming in phases beginning first with 250 market rate apartments. From there, Ainslie plans to develop the rest of the complex for mixed use development.
"For instance, artist space, artesenal craftsman, brew pubs,coffee shops, those kinds of lifestyle destinations," described Ainslie.
Even while King Mill sat empty, it never truly stopped operating. Water from the Augusta Canal still flow into the building where giant turbines have been spinning for years. It's one of many parts of the mill that will continue even after its renovated.
"We're hopeful this investment and redevelopment of these properties here is going to work in tandom to allow a lot of the things that happening in downtown Augusta," said Sherrouse.
Cape Augusta is using both federal and state historic tax credits keeping the integrity and the history of the building. They're also using new market tax credits which are designed to spur job growth and development. They hope to bring life back to the heart of Harrisburg.
Cape Augusta says the plan is to break ground on King Mill sometime between September and November. Once they break ground, they expect the project to take 12 to 18 months to finish.