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South Hill Elementary building gets new life as apartment project

SoVaNow.com / January 16, 2019
South Hill Town Council and the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors toured the site of South Hill’s latest redevelopment project on Monday, the former South Hill Elementary School, located at 313 Franklin Street.

The building was last used as a school in 2005.

In November South Hill Town Manager Kim Callis announced that a private known as HGM&S II, LLC. planned to bring the former South Hill Elementary School on Franklin Street “back to life in a way that revitalizes and beautifies the Franklin/Windsor neighborhood and a segment of the Town’s commercial historic district.”

After cleaning up a few minor issues with the deed to the property, HGM&S II took ownership of the site and began work on the building, which when done will include 27 market rate apartments, a restaurant and a community room/event space.

Tony Hayes said some of the classrooms have already been framed in preparation for their conversion into apartments. His hope, weather permitting is that they will be ready to begin renting the apartments by early summer. He expected to have final drawings for the site completed in the next couple of weeks and promised to them available to the public online or through the town.

South Hill Mayor Dean Marion said he was excited that “another historic property is being brought back to life,” adding that “an investment such as this has such magnitude for our community. Not only is a historical landmark having new life breathed into it and housing needs are being met, but this investment could potentially send the value of an entire historical neighborhood in an upward direction. I would like to personally thank HGM&S II, LLC for their investment in our community.”

A spokesperson for HGM&S II thanked former property owner Eddie Callahan for “believing in our vision and working with us to make the acquisition of this beautiful property.”

During Monday night’s meeting of the town council, during which Council approved an application to rezone the property for mixed use, one neighbor spoke at the rezoning hearing, sharing her concern about the amount of parking that would be included with the project. Hayes said an existing unused playground area would be converted into parking and an unused outbuilding would be removed for additional parking. He assured Council that the site would include more than enough off-street parking for the apartment residents.

Callis reminded Council that until 2005 the site was a working school and that teachers, administrators and other staff would park on and around the property with no inconvenience to the neighbors.

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