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Plant 64 Mixed Use Development


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The TBJ has recently reported that developer Chris Harrison has recently begun development of the massive $55 million Plant 64 project. The five Plant 64 buildings, which total 422,000 square feet of usable space, are being turned into a total of 243 apartment units, 9,700 square feet of retail space and about 350 parking spots.

The substantial project is the first residential project of this size and magnitude to be built downtown in years and is the largest in a flurry of planned apartment developments for Forsyth County’s central submarket, which includes downtown and roughly a 2-mile radius surrounding it. It will also help build out the northern district of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the recently rebranded research park that aims to bring 3,000 employees downtown by the end of next year.

A recent overnight fire has not slowed progress on the project, the developer has said the fire will not affect construction plans or timelines. The fire which burned part of two empty downtown buildings within the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter research park last week caused about $175,000 in damage, but the cause has not yet been determined, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

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Property Information on the retail portion of this megadevelopment:

•Plant 64 is a mixed use development under construction featuring 243 one & two bedroom apartments with all the amenities. The five Plant 64 Buildings (former RJ Reynolds Tobacco Buildings) are a $55M project in 422,000 SF in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a new community where people "Work, Live, Learn & Play".

•There is 9,700 SF of Retail space available for Lease with street frontage available on the corner of Fourth & Linden ideal for Restaurant, Pizzeria, Coffee Shop, and Urban Grocery Store.

•Space can be subdivided

•Free Onsite Parking plus additional street parking

•Zoning: CI

•Year Built: 1916 (currently under redevelopment)

Available: May 2014


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Plant 64 is continuing to lease very well due to its excellent location in the Innovation Quarter. With the renovation of adjacent Reynolds Series 60 buildings (totaling over 342,000 square feet) into the new home for the Wake Forest School of Medicine along with additional office/lab space, this complex is in the center of all what is happening in the East End of downtown. The amenities shown in the link really enhances the desirability. With the first phase of Bailey Park opening this Spring and the start of the Rails to Trails project, Plant 64 offers the best of everything downtown.



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Looks like the creative class is continuing to grow in the Innovation Quarter :)


Winston-Salem marketing agency The Variable is doubling the size of its offices with a relocation to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter this summer. The expansion and move into the Plant 64 complex follow a nearly two-year run of extended growth, both in its client roster as well as its size. The agency has recently been named agency of record for women's sports clothing maker Soffe as well as for Spin Master, the world's fourth-largest toy maker. Those wins come with new or deepening relationships with grocery chain Lowes Foods, Primo Water, Duke University Health System and Interface, the world's largest carpet tile manufacturer.

"It's been a really exciting time — we've grown so much over the last 18 to 20 months," said David Mullen, director of account management for The Variable. "If the last 18 months are any indication, we're onto something really, really interesting here." During this period of growth, The Variable has seen its staff swell from 14 to 32, with five positions in areas such as creative, account management, data science and strategic planning. Within the next three to five years, Mullen expects the agency to reach 55 to 60 employees.

That's what's prompting the move, with the agency outgrowing its 5,000-square-foot space on Reynolda Road in West End and planning to move into 10,000 square feet within Plant 64 in August at the start of a 10-year lease. Former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. warehouses, Plant 64 has been redeveloped by Philadelphia-based Pennrose Properties largely as a residential complex. But The Variable will take a space at East Fourth Street and Research Parkway that had initially been set aside for retail use. Within the next several weeks, Capstone Building Corp. will begin to upfit the space, which was designed by Commonwealth Architects.

Arched ceilings of more than 20 feet will allow for the construction of what will initially be a small second tier for meeting space and could be expanded in the future to accommodate staffing growth. "We're planning for growth," Mullen said. Most of The Variable's staff will work in the large, open center of the space, which will be ringed by conference rooms and smaller offices. Collaborative areas will allow for larger group meetings or opportunities for small group brainstorming sessions, Mullen said.

As a tenant of Plant 64, The Variable will also have access to the neighboring outdoor social space and pool that also serves residents of the complex, as well as other interior social space and the fitness center. For four Variable staffers, the commute will involve walking from their Plant 64 loft across a small parking lot to the office. http://www.plant64.com/plant-64/gallery

"We didn't set out saying we were going to be in Innovation Quarter," Mullen said. "But I think it helps all of us attract top talent into the city. I think it helps us all keep top talent in the city." The news that The Variable is relocating to the downtown Winston-Salem research park follows the announcement just last month that Mullen NC, the second-largest marketing firm in the Triad, will move into Innovation Quarter in December.  Mullen is relocating from Cherry Street to [email protected], another former RJR complex that's been redeveloped by park owner Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and its development partner, Wexford Science + Technology. "We'll do our part to help cultivate a first-class creative environment," Mullen said.

What's been behind The Variable's growth? Mullen points to a number of elements, including the fact that the agency is "entrepreneurial in action," not just in spirit. That includes the successful launch last year of Sunshine, an energy drink developed and brought to market by The Variable co-owners Keith Vest and Joe Parrish. They recently shipped their 100,000th can, with the drink now available in 400 retail outlets. Then there are the multiple toys that Parrish has developed and then licensed, or the various Etsy shops and other entrepreneurial ventures other staff members at the agency are involved in, Mullen said. "I think that being entrepreneurial in action is really what's driven our growth," Mullen said. "That's what clients have loved about our people and our approach to problem solving."

Source: TBJ

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Here's a Wings over Winston aerial photo showing a view over Plant 64 which has remained essentially 100% leased since opening. It has proven to be one of the most successful residential projects downtown. The complex also has commercial space which is occupied by The Variable which is a rapidly growing advertising agency.




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