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Mill on Main open for business with Waxhaw apartments; restaurant coming later

06 October 2017

By Ken Elkins, Charlotte Business Journal

Finally, Waxhaw has apartments.

The Mill on Main is open and leasing in the former Rodman-Heath Cotton Mill on N.C. Highway 75 near town center.

The 63 apartments are leasing briskly with one section of the historic mill fully leased, says Brian Cillian, partner at DHD Ventures, the Charlotte developer that bought the 7-acre site.

“From beginning to end, it’s been a great project,” Cillian says. “It exceeded all expectations.”

Cillian says a majority of the units have been leased but units are still available. The first tenants moved into the project about two weeks ago.

He says he likes the portion of the old buildings that could be reclaimed with the construction.

“We were pleased with the amount of building we could keep and restore,” he says.

Cillian is targeting January 2018 for opening a 300-seat restaurant in the mill building. Called Emmet’s, the eatery will be an American-style restaurant with beef, seafood and other dishes.

Plates will be shareable and craft beer and wine available. The restaurant will contain 4,000 square feet and will included a patio and fire pit outside.

“We’ll create a place that will fill a void in Waxhaw for a place to dine in and socialize,” Cillian says.

The commercial section of the mill building will also house the new 3,000-square-foot home for the developer, DHD Ventures. DHD is currently located in Charlotte and plans to move to Waxhaw when the offices are completed, which is also scheduled for January.

Cillian also says a $50,000 façade grant from the town of Waxhaw helped the project.

The Mill on Main is divided into two buildings, the mill section and the ironworks section. The 80,000-square-foot mill section contains apartments with exposed brick, mill flooring and wood ceilings. There the units have two levels.

Adjacent to the old mill building, the ironworks section has garden apartments in the 1960s addition to the mill.

Inside, the apartments have premium appliances, quartz counters and tile bathrooms. Cillian describes the units as “cool, modern apartments.”

The apartments available rent for between $1,105 to $1,585 a month, according to the website. Details are at

A courtyard between the two buildings has been transformed into an amenity oasis with a saltwater pool, televisions, grills, seating and a poolhouse.

“You feel like you’re at a resort,” Cillian says.

A steel roof frame that connects the two buildings has a roof added as a part of the project. The effect of the exposed metal gives the courtyard an industrial feel that melds well with the manufacturing history of the site.

There is still room in the commercial side of the project — in the boiler room section of the old mill — for a coffee shop or a yoga studio.

“The idea is to add to the mix of office and residential with a retail population driver,” Cillian says.

Overall, it’s good for both Waxhaw and the suburbs of Charlotte to reclaim the old site, Cillian concludes.

“To give it a second life is pretty cool.”

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