Bringing back the mill village: Nick Piornack talks Revolution

“It would be great to rebrand this whole area as the Mill Village.”

So said Nick Piornack, general manager of Revolution Mill, when I interviewed him last week. Piornack envisions the 45-acre mixed-use development off Yanceyville as the heart of a once neglected but now revitalized Northeast Greensboro, and closer to downtown than many people realize.

“When I started here, my friends downtown were amazed I was moving ‘all the way out there’ to Revolution Mill.” But it’s actually only six minutes from his old office at Downtown Greensboro, Inc. on Elm Street. “Just one mile from Moses Cone and all the medical complexes, and 2.1 miles from downtown.”

Built in 1898, Revolution was the first flannel mill in the South. By the 1930s, it was the largest producer of that fabric in the world. But it ceased operation in 1982, and by the end of the 20th century, the huge buildings that once housed looms and other machinery were empty shells.

Revolution Mill was the second textile plant established in Greensboro by brothers Moses and Ceasar Cone, three years after their Proximity Cotton Mill became the South’s first denim plant. The Cones built two additional Greensboro mills; White Oak in 1905 and Proximity Printworks in 1912.


CBRE|Triad is pleased to announce Old North State Trust will relocate from downtown Greensboro to Revolution Mill, the former Cone Mill textile plant is located along the Yanceyville Street corridor in Greensboro, just minutes from downtown. 

Due to the growth of the financial planning company, they have leased 5,000 square feet on two floors in the 1250 Building at Revolution Mill. The high-end office space will feature glass walled offices, and take advantage of the mill’s huge historic windows, hardwood decking, high ceilings and exposed oak beams. Old North State will be moving by the end of the year. 

“This is one of the premium spaces in the Mill, and we’re delighted with Old North State’s plans for it,” said Malcolm White, director of marketing and leasing for Self-Help, Revolution Mill’s developer. “Their clients will enter a spectacular reception space flooded with light, and Old North State’s staff will enjoy the dramatic setting for their individual offices. It’s a great fit.” 

The CBRE|Triad team of Richard Mossman, senior vice president, Matt King, assistant vice president and Christy Crouch Smith, associate, represented Self-Help in the transaction. Old North State Trust was represented by Richard Beard of Schulman and Beard Commercial Real Estate. The CBRE|Triad team has been handling the leasing and marketing responsibilities for Revolution Mill since October 2015.

About Old North State Trust, LLC 

Old North State Trust (ONST) is a North Carolina based independent, family owned financial services company. As the needs of our founders became more complex, ONST evolved from a family office into a chartered trust company regulated by the state of North Carolina. Today, ONST is a well-established trust company that offers families and individuals meaningful and personalized service. The firm was built on a foundation of trust and integrity- those principles govern all client relationships. For more information about the company, visit . 


About Revolution Mill 

The Revolution Mill District is a historic textile mill campus encompassing Revolution Mill and Olympic Mill sites, with adjacent land connected by North Buffalo Creek. Located just north of downtown Greensboro, Revolution began operations as the South’s first large flannel mill in 1899 and for decades anchored a thriving community of workers and craftspeople. The facility included over 640,000 feet of working space before the textile industry decline led to its closure in 1982. For the next few decades, limited sections of Revolution were renovated into office space, while other parts of the property fell into disuse and disrepair. In 2012 Self-Help assumed ownership of Revolution Mill and is completing the property’s transformation into a mixed-use development. For more information about the property, leasing availability and details surrounding commercial, residential and studio space visit or call (336) 235-2393. 


About Self-Help 

Self-Help, a community development credit union and lender headquartered in Durham, has provided over $6.9 billion in financing to 112,000 families, individuals and businesses underserved by traditional financial institutions. It helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by financing homebuyers, nonprofits, child care centers, community health facilities, public charter schools, and residential and commercial real estate projects. Self-Help’s credit unions serve over 120,000 people in North Carolina, California, Chicago and Florida with a full range of financial products and services. 

In addition to Revolution Mill, Self-Help’s long Greensboro history includes the redevelopment of the Self-Help Center downtown, a Self-Help Credit Union branch at 3400 Battleground Ave and the in-process redevelopment of the Renaissance Shops at Phillips Avenue, formerly the old Renaissance Shopping Center. In Guilford County, Self-Help has made home and commercial loans totaling $90 million, creating or maintaining an estimated 2,700 jobs. Over 70% of the loans have been to minorities, and 66% to low-income families. Learn more at 


About CBRE|Triad 

CBRE|Triad is a CBRE affiliate office serving the Triad Region. The firm assists real estate owners, investors and occupiers by offering strategic advice and execution for property leasing and sales; property, facilities and project management; corporate services; debt and equity financing; investment management; valuation and appraisal; research and investment strategy; and consulting. The local office closed more than $199 million in sales and leasing transactions in 2016. For more information about the Triad office, visit our website,


The warmer days of summer have finally arrived.

For some Spartans, summer means studying abroad, returning home or moving to a new city for a job or internship. For others, summer is a time to stay in Greensboro and take a few classes, gain valuable work experience at a local company or nonprofit, and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

From music festivals to kayaking to Friday night movies, there’s something for everyone. So if you’re staying in Greensboro, or if you’re visiting friends for a weekend, here’s a list – in no particular order – of the top 10 things to do in Greensboro this summer.

1. Listen to live music at the Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival and the Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP) series.

2. Enjoy America’s pastime by cheering on the Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team.

3. Get outdoors! Go kayaking or paddle boarding on one of Greensboro’s three lakes, ride your bike on the city’s 90-plus miles of greenways and trails or spend an afternoon skating at the new Latham Skate Park.

4. Check out all that downtown Greensboro has to offer ­­– live music, shopping, cultural events, great food and more – at First Fridays.

5. Cool down with an ice cream cone from Yum Yum or a cold brew from one of the coffee shops on Tate Street.

6. Celebrate all things red, white and blue at the Fun Fourth Festival, Greensboro’s annual Fourth of July block party.

7. Stop by the Weatherspoon Art Museum – one of Buzzfeed’s “18 Hidden Gems Around the World that You Need to Visit” – to see the new exhibitions. And don’t miss the museum’s free Summer Solstice Party.

8. Set up your hammock in Foust Park and enjoy the beauty of UNCG’s campus.

9. Spend a Friday night watching a box office hit under the stars at LeBauer Park. The summer movie night series, sponsored by UNCG, kicks off July 21.

10. Explore the newly renovated Revolution Mill and all the ways that Spartans are helping to revitalize the historic spot – including a UNCG exhibition about the “mill villagers,” a Weatherspoon art gallery and a new restaurant concept by Natty Greene’s owners and UNCG alumni Chris Lester and Kayne Fisher.

See this as it appeared on UNCG Now >>

Short Orders: Urban Grinders opens 2nd location

Urban Grinders  |  Revolution Mill

Urban Grinders coffee shop has opened at Revolution Mill in Greensboro.

The shop opened on the first floor of the building at 1250 Revolution Mill Drive just off Yanceyville Street. The building is home to more than 45 businesses, art studios and creative firms. It also houses the artist-in-residence program and the WAMRev Gallery, which holds rotating exhibitions in collaboration with Weatherspoon Art Museum.

The shop is the second location for Urban Grinders, which opened a shop and art gallery in 2015 at 116 N. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro.

“Focusing on art and music more so than any other coffee shop has helped to breed a certain culture downtown that you can’t find anywhere else,” owner Jeff Beck said . “We like to tell people we have taken a chunk of New York and plopped it right down in the middle of Greensboro. Urban Grinders at Revolution will have the same spirit as our Elm Street location, but we will be focusing more on a refined coffee shop atmosphere.”

The new shop’s open concept features seating for 35 to 50 people. It overlooks Revolution Docks — an outdoor plaza that is a venue for casual gathering, events and performances.

Urban Grinders joins dining concepts Cugino Forno Pizzeria, which opened this spring in the mill’s old machine shop at 1160 Revolution Mill Drive, and Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, which is scheduled to open this summer in another free-standing building overlooking North Buffalo Creek on the mill’s south side.

The openings are part of the redevelopment of the historic textile mill that produced flannel for decades before closing and falling into disrepair.

In 2012, Self-Help assumed ownership of Revolution Mill and is completing the property’s transformation into a mixed-use development.

See this as it appeared on News + Record >>

You say you want a revolution...

Southern Railway trains once carried boxcars of cotton for the manufacture of denim, flannel and corduroy to the cluster of Cone Mills factories in northeast Greensboro. The tracks still cross Yanceyville Street, as they have for decades, and run alongside a shuttered red-brick mill that developers envision as a potential boutique hotel.

Photo property of Business North Carolina

Photo property of Business North Carolina

Follow the tracks across a trestle spanning North Buffalo Creek, and more than 30 years of dreaming gives way to reality — a construction site with piles of gravel and sand, and the rumble of trucks and a yellow excavator next to the tall, sandy brick smokestack of Revolution Mill.

“It is good to see a structure like that get used again,’’ says Joe Hill, whose parents made denim for Cone Mills. The retired facilities director for Guilford County Schools grew up in the mill village that he says could benefit economically from a $100 million redevelopment of the 117-year-old mill.

Self-Help, a Durham-based credit union and lender, bought the 512,000-square-foot factory out of foreclosure in 2012. Most of the office space it inherited was leased, so it renovated more.

Whether people want to live in the heart of Greensboro’s mill district will be a test not only for Self-Help but also for boosters of Greensboro’s center city, which is 2 miles south. The additional housing is needed, according to Zach Matheny, president and CEO of Downtown Greensboro Inc. The central business district’s population of about 2,300 people is “a very low number for a city of Greensboro’s size,’’ he says. “I’d like to see it double. The more residents we have downtown, the more vibrant our businesses will be.’’

Read the rest on Business North Carolina >>

Modular elevator installation

Our new all-glass elevator arrives on site first thing tomorrow morning! The first of it's kind in Greensboro, it will be craned into place by Resolute Elevator LLC.

Check out some of the press coverage here:

- North Carolina Construction News

- The Sun News (New Bern, NC)


The folks behind the revitalization of the old Revolution Mill property are moving forward again, this time with even bigger and better projects. The property will continue its growth as a small business center, but with additional emphasis in Phase II on making this a destination property for work, home and recreation.

Nick Piornack, Business Development Manager for Revolution Mill, said initial work on Phase II of the project began this past spring, but things were really picking up steam now.

“The project is slated to run up to about $100 million by completion,” he said. “Once this phase is done, we’ll have about 520,000 sq. feet of renovated space under roof.”

He explained that the original Phase I development plan for the property renovated about 130,000 sq. feet of the property into office space.

Read the rest on YES! WEEKLY >>

City signs off on incentives for Natty Greene's, Revolution Mill

With the passage of a nearly $390,000 incentives package, it appears Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. will likely consolidate and expand its business at the Revolution Mill campus in Greensboro.

Greensboro City Council unanimously signed off on the deal at its Tuesday meeting, with Natty Greene’s to receive up to $387,500 to help offset an investment of at least $14.5 million and the creation of 27 jobs by the end of 2018.

Natty Greene’s is seeking to create a destination brewery and tasting room on a campus that includes a new restaurant in what co-founder Kayne Fisher has said will be “Natty Greene’s Disney World — this full experience, this interactive experience.”

The new campus would replace its production brewery now located on Gate City Boulevard across from the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, with Natty’s expecting to build a new brewery that can produce more than 100,000 barrels of beer annually — more than triple its current capacity.

A new restaurant would be located in the 10,000-square-foot former carpenters shop that sits adjacent to the main Revolution Mill building and borders a creek.

Fisher told the Triad Business Journal last year that with the opening of a new campus, Natty’s plans to close or at least rebrand its downtown Greensboro brewpub with a new, larger restaurant adjacent to the new brewery.

Read the rest on Triad Business Journal >>

Revolution Mill developers hope to capture excitement, success of American Tobacco complex

The American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham is now touted statewide and nationally as a resounding success.

The expansive historic mill that churned out Lucky Strike cigarettes for generations rebounded from decades of decay to become home to more than 100 companies and spark an ongoing renaissance in Durham's core.

But there was a time when it sat poised like Revolution Mill, the former Cone Mills flagship in Greensboro now undergoing a $100 million renovation by Self-Help Ventures Fund of Durham.

And on Tuesday, Self-Help invited community and business leaders to Revolution to hear how the developers of American Tobacco carved a path to recovery during the past 10 years, with the hope that a similar future lies ahead for the former Cone property.

Michael Goodmon is vice president of real estate for Capitol Broadcasting Co., which has redeveloped American Tobacco, and said local involvement will be crucial to the success of Revolution Mill.

Read the rest on Triad Business Journal >>

Broker selected for $100M Revolution Mill redevelopment

CBRE Triad has won the commercial leasing rights to represent Revolution Mill, a $100 million redevelopment of the former Cone Mill.

Revolution Mill, a massive complex of brick buildings and smokestacks off Yanceyville Street in Greensboro, was the first flannel mill in the South and secured Greensboro’s position as a major employer in the industry for decades until it closed in 1982.

Now, owner Self-Help Ventures Fund is working to breathe life back into Revolution Mill, which currently is being converted to provide more than 242,000 square feet of rentable Class A office space, as well as two restaurants and about 26,000 square feet of studio space for creative office users such as artists and entrepreneurs.

“We are pleased to have the CBRE team and its worldwide network of resources representing Revolution Mill,” said Malcolm White, director of marketing and leasing for Self-Help Ventures Fund. “We believe CBRE is well-positioned to attract prospective tenants from the Triad, the Southeast and beyond who are attracted to a beautifully-restored mill — with huge windows, oak columns, hardwood floors and vintage hardware — that is located only minutes from downtown Greensboro."

Read the rest on Triad Business Journal >>

$100 million Revolution Mill redevelopment project ramping up for 2016 finish

GREENSBORO − The group that is doing a  redevelopment of the historic Revolution Mill textile mill complex said today that it will ramp up construction and finish the project by the third quarter of 2016. 

Self-Help Ventures Fund, owner of Revolution Mill and the surrounding 45 acres two miles north of downtown Greensboro, said it closed recently on a financing package and began an accelerated construction schedule to complete the redevelopment of the mixed-use, destination campus by the third quarter of 2016, according to a news release. 

Development Manager Micah Kordsmeier said in the release that the project will exceed $100 million and will include 142 one and two-bedroom apartments, 240,000 square feet of  office space, and multiple dining options.

The company will also offer space for 20-30 working artists, galleries, and a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces.

Read the rest on News & Record >>

Developer behind downtown Greensboro successes joins Revolution Mill team


A developer with a South Elm Street resume has been brought aboard as business development manager at Revolution Mill District, the former Cone Mills campus being redeveloped by Self-Help Ventures Fund.

Nick Piornack will be charged with forming partnerships and increasing exposure for the 45-acre property that also includes the neighboring Olympic Mills building.

"We're delighted to have Nick's energy, his commitment to Greensboro, and his ability to forge productive partnerships that will catalyze investment and create a new destination that people from across the Triad can enjoy," said Micah Kordsmeier, development manager for Revolution Mill.

Piornack, a managing partner of Raleigh-based Momentum Development Partners, has seen success in downtown within the last several years with the redevelopment of buildings off of South Elm Street into restaurants WORX and Spice Cantina as well as the event space, The Rail Yard.

Piornack serves on the board of Downtown Greensboro Inc. and was named the group's "Man of the Year" last year for his work on South Elm. He is also a founding member of the South End Neighborhood Group which is working on historic preservation in downtown.

Read the rest on Triad Business Journal >>

Exclusive: Building purchase adds another piece to Revolution Mill campus development

Self-Help Ventures Fund has purchased a final piece of the Revolution Mill property in eastern Greensboro that expands the mixed-used campus the Durham-based nonprofit is developing.

In a multipart real estate deal that got underway late last year, Self-Help this month completed its purchase of the Revolution Mill House at 2004 Yanceyville St., a nearly 100-year-old portion of the former Cone Mills plant that's operated as a storage unit business.

Jim Overton, Revolution Mill project manager, said last year Self-Help purchased the outstanding note for the building from its previous owners, Frank Aumanand Jim Peeples, who were also the previous owners of the remainder of Revolution Mill.

The idea in that initial step was to help Auman and Peeples to continue to unwind their investment in the former mill, while also paving the way for Self-Help to eventually purchase both the building and the storage business, which Auman and Peeples have operated as "A Self Storage Center."

Read the rest on Triad Business Journal >>

8 great public bathrooms in Greensboro

Photo: Property of 1808 Greensboro

Photo: Property of 1808 Greensboro

In honor of April Fool’s Day, we decided to have a little fun with this column. This month, we are noting our favorite bathrooms in Greensboro. Yes, it is entirely from a female perspective. And yes, it is entirely foolish.

1. Any Quaintance-Weaver property: Each is distinctive, reflecting the unique vibe of each restaurant or restaurant/hotel. We love the large black and white romantic posters at Lucky 32 (1421 Westover Terrace) and the contemporary style of Printworks Bistro (702 Green Valley Road). The understated elegance at Green Valley Grill (622 Green Valley Road) pairs well with its surroundings. The walls hold richly framed art work, and real flowers adorn the sink.

2. Vigilante Crossfit (1819 E. Spring Garden Street): It’s a guy’s kind of gym. With barbells and ropes. Metal lockers and wooden benches. And yet, the bathroom is really nice — and clean — for such a gritty gym. And the step-in, glass-encased shower is pretty cool too. Don’t worry it’s a single bathroom, not one for multiple users.

3. Josephine’s (2417 Spring Garden Street): The ladies room is small and feminine. But what we really like are the complimentary toiletry items. Because sometimes you need to pick your teeth, and you can’t predict when you’re going to need a safety pin.

4. The Forge (115 West Lewis Street): It’s a makerspace with a “hard area” designated for metal and woodworking, and a soft space for collaboration and socializing. But to see what’s so amazing about its bathrooms, you must look up. The tin ceiling tiles are more than a century old, and they are beautiful.

5. Revolution Mill Events Center (1160 Revolution Mill Dr.): They’re clean and opulent and spacious. Each stall is privately secured with its own wooden door. And you’ve got to check out the brass monkey toilet paper holders.

Check out the other great bathrooms on 1808 >>

In the News: Revolution Evolution

An iconic structure from Greensboro’s past as a textile empire continues its renovation for a second life as a mixed used complex.

Revolution Mill is part of a nearly two million square foot campus hidden away just blocks from State Street and Greensboro County Club.

Brothers Moses and Ceasar Cone started Revolution Mill in the 1890s after realizing that it would be easier to process the raw materials needed to make denim and other textiles closer to where the cotton was grown. Cone Mills operated the building until 1982.

Revolution Mill is symbolic of Greensboro’s history as a textile capital. Historic preservation efforts led by Self-Help Ventures Fund of Durham and architect Eddie Belk, are continuing to turn the space into a business and residential center with a style that fuses industrial and modern.

Read the rest on YES! WEEKLY >>

In the News: Revolution Mill sold at auction to Self-Help

Self-Help Ventures Fund's bid of $8 million in a foreclosure auction for the historic Revolution Mill Studios property in Greensboro was successful and the Durham nonprofit will take ownership of the building.

In an announcement, Self-Help said it is currently making plans for future development of the former Cone Mills cotton mill on Yanceyville Street. The developers who started the restoration of the mill several years ago, Frank Auman and Jim Peeplesrenovated a large portion of the building but halted construction in 2011 because they lacked financing and defaulted on debt payments.

Read the rest on Triad Business Journal >>