Drayton Mills developer wants to be economic engine for community

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Developers who breathed new life into an old mill are hoping to use that to expand and revitalize the community.

Drayton Mills is expanding and growing. It’s a mixed-use project just a mile and a half from downtown Spartanburg.

Soon, the developers’ sights will be set on building a new subdivision, hoping to impact the surrounding community the way the old textile mill did when it was thriving.

The Drayton Mills project is a labor of love for John Montgomery; his great-great-grandfather built the former textile mill.

“It’s certainly meaningful to me personally to see these buildings revitalized, to see people here walking the site, living on the site,” says Montgomery.

The mill served as an economic engine for the surrounding community for nearly 92 years before it was shut down – sitting empty for nearly two decades.

Then developers breathed new life into it by creating an environment to live, work, and play.

“I enjoy how you can come by and enjoy a nice peaceful cup of coffee,” says Kali Hasselbacher.

The old buildings have already been converted into an apartment complex along with commercial office and retail space.

Right now, you’ll find a gym, restaurant, and coffee shop.

“I love how close it is to my house,” says customer Clair Greer. “Two minutes around the corner, it’s easy to meet friends and grab coffee here.”

Over the next few years, developers hope many more people will be attracted to the area as they add more businesses.

“We are in the process of getting a stoplight installed and crosswalk installed,” says Montgomery. “We have a parking lot with about 500 spaces we have access to.”

Pacolet-Milliken Enterprises, the company financing this build, also plans to convert nearly 250 acres of land into 600 single family homes over the next 10 years.

A new elementary school for Spartanburg School District 7 is taking shape on land donated by the development group.

New businesses opening at Drayton Mills Marketplace include Burn Boot Camp which is opening Monday and Pi-Squared Pizza which plans to open in September.