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ATLANTA-Roswell, GA-based PRS Companies is set to begin pre-leasing the first 24 units at the 336-unit Johnston Mill Lofts in Columbus, GA about 100 miles southwest of Downtown Atlanta.

The property is a $29-million conversion of the 106-year-old textile mill, formerly known as Columbus Mills.

PRS paid less than $4 million, or about $6.95 per sf, for the property, according to GlobeSt.com research. Conversion cost $29 million.

Johnston Mill Lofts is located on 26 acres and consists of an existing 576,000-sf main building, which contains the loft apartments, and conversion of a former basketball gym into a sports bar and grill. A 3,000-sf fitness center and 2,000-sf pool and tennis court are also planned for the project.

PRS received tax credits for keeping the main building’s exterior façade intact, which resulted in the development of 15-foot to 20-foot ceilings. The smallest unit is 900 sf; the largest is 1,800 sf, and the average is between 1,200 sf and 1,300 sf.

Half of the units are classified as “affordable,” eligible for state and federal tax credits, and set aside for tenants with annual incomes of under $25,000. They are mixed among the other units in the building. Monthly rentals for all units range from $400 to $900.

Completion of the full property is set for summer 2003.

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