Old warehouses turned into apartments in Mebane

Mebane Mill Lofts is an apartment complex made out of an old factory in downtown Mebane.

MEBANE, N.C. — Some old warehouses in downtown Mebane are being turned into apartment space that at least 500 people could soon call home.

An old textile mill on West Washington Street was turned into Mebane Mill Lofts, a 75-unit apartment complex in which applications are accepted based on income.

It took a year of construction and $12 million to complete the project.

Leasing agent Tammy Barringer said the Lofts are still accepting applications, but some of its units already have a waiting list. Some of the mill’s former workers have even submitted applications, Barringer said.

“Every city ought to have some type of opportunity for folks that can’t afford market-rate apartments to live in. This is our opportunity,” said Mebane Mayor Glendel Stephenson.

Plans are also in the works to restore the old White Furniture Company just a few blocks away. The restoration would include more than 100 apartments and space for retail.

The city has nearly doubled in population in the last decade. Stephenson said he wants to continue the growth seen over the past five years.

“We’d like to see our retail continue to grow, but we’d also like to see our industrial business to continue to grow. That brings jobs to the city,” Stephenson said.

Real estate worker Bob Ferrar said part of Mebane’s growth is due to its location directly between the immediate Triad and the Triangle area of Raleigh-Durham.

“We get a lot of people in which one of them may work at Research Triangle in Durham, and the other may work in Greensboro,” Ferrar said.

“If anyone is from out of state or out of town and thinking about selling anywhere in this area, I can assure them that Mebane is the best investment right now. And I sell houses from here to Raleigh.”

However, some residents said the old factories are part of the small city’s history and should be preserved instead of torn down.

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