Boutique City Mills Hotel transforming historic grist mill into Chattahoochee riverfront gem

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — An old 1800s Columbus riverfront grist mill is getting ready for a spectacular second act in its third century.

Before the end of the year this late historic slice of industrial-era Columbus will be a boutique hotel with all of the amenities.

Cassie Myers, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Pezold companies, sums it up this way: “There is nothing like it in Columbus.”

Myers is right. The old City Mills building was almost lost to years of neglect. It is being saved and repurposed as a hotel, event space, a riverfront restaurant and more.

“We are looking at 58 rooms right now, maybe a little more if we can figure out what goes over the kitchen,” Myers said. “Very small rooms. Very quaint. We will get creative where we are going to put stuff.”

The restaurant is in the river building which still has the inner workings of the grist mill – where grain is ground in flour. And the Mill House Restaurant will be a signature piece of the $12 million project being done by the Pezold Companies, Columbus developer and attorney Ken Henson and the Historic Columbus Foundation.

The boutique hotel is scheduled to open before the end of the year. It is on pace with the Mercer Medical School campus, which is scheduled for completion in December.

“Half of this will be a family-style table,” Myers said, pointing to a large piece of the grist meal operation. “… We will try and leave some area whether it’s done with glass or whatever or designer comes up with so you can see down into the turbines.”

There are other distinct features, as well.

The old office walk-in safe is being used as a restroom during construction, but will be transformed into the manager’s office.

Just around the corner is the mill’s historic wooden phone booth.

“You can see smoky glass,” Myers said. “We are going to replicate throughout the property.”

River Flow Yoga and Wellness Studio, which is open and in full operation, gives you a glimpse of what much of this space will look like.

And at every turn the old buildings speak to you.

“It is unbelievable that a building built in 1891 is not only standing but is structurally sound enough that we are able to put a hotel and restaurant in it,” Myers said.