A local real estate group is breathing new life into a portion of this Concord textile mill.

Southpaw Investors’ adaptive-reuse project will invest roughly $1 million to transform 25,000 square feet at Gibson Mill. 

Gibson Mill Market aims to preserve the building’s history, while giving new life through the addition of food-hall style dining and shopping. It is slated to open in early 2020, says Jock Liles, a partner in Southpaw.

The investment group has been revamping parts of that property at 325 McGill Ave. NW since acquiring it in 2004. The entire property — once a plant for the historic Cannon Mills Co. — encompasses 656,000 square feet and sits on 48 acres. Parts of it date to 1899. 

“Now, we’d like to make this into a shopping destination as well,” says Tom Cotter, one of Southpaw’s partners. 

Cotter owns that property with Joe Liles and Jock Liles. Jock Liles says the space has evolved gradually and organically. 

“We have built this whole facility with comparable budgets and have gone a long way,” says Jock Liles.

It’s now home to retail, office and warehouse space. Tenants include Cabarrus Brewing Co., High Branch Brewing Co.,The Depot At Gibson Mill antique mall, an escape room as well as AutoBarn Classic Cars, a showroom and marketplace for vintage vehicles.

The addition of the food hall is a logical next step — particularly given its location, says Joe Liles.

The mill already attracts more than 1,000 people daily. Another 305,000 people live and work within a 10-mile radius. The property also sits in close proximity to Interstate 77, Interstate 85 and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Plans call for nine food stalls between 192 and 750 square feet. The goal is to offer a cross section of ethnic food. That may include drawing from some of the food trucks in the region, who are looking for brick-and-mortar space. 

“The marketplace is one of the fastest growing food concepts,” he adds.

Potential tenants in the works include a New York-Style pizza, coffee shop, a taco and torta concept and a bread bakery — though no tenants have officially signed on to date, says Thomas Moore, Gibson Mill’s business development director. 

“We want to offer different varieties and flavors that maybe you can’t experience here in Concord,” he says.

He envisions a locally and regionally sourced food hall, with vendors and restaurateurs from the Tar Heel State. Product offerings will be representative of North Carolina. 

There also will be a 2,700-square-foot anchor restaurant. Another 8,000 square feet of space is available as part of the first phase.

Community space will include an extensive patio for guests as well as a bar. There’s also room for an organic garden, farmers’ markets and other like ventures, he adds.

“We want to make this a hub of activity for that kind of business,” Moore says.

A second phase could add another 10,000 square feet of market space. Timing of that depends on how the initial project is received.

D3 Studio is behind the architecture and design work. Liles Construction will be the general contractor.

The project will take advantage of high ceilings, original hardwood floors and structural support beams. It also will reopen bricked-over windows to fill the space with natural light.

“This has so much character and personality to it just as it is,” Jock Liles says.

Gibson Mill’s ownership team is accepting applications for the market. Contact Moore at (704) 699-2177 or thomas@gibsonmill.com.