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intcvlcphlga

13 story residential bldg in downtown Winston-Salem

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Niemann Capital of Durham is proposing constructing a 13 story residential, office and retail tower with 100 residential units, 15,900sf of retail and 55,800sf of office space. That sounds great, but the developer is proposing tearing down the Pepper Building for parking. Since I only skimmed the article, I'm not sure if they are planning a parking deck or surface lot, but either way, I don't think it makes much sense urbanistically. The article in the Winston-Salem Journal is here:

http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellit...d=1128768708014

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The pepper building is a reasonably attractive, 7-story building that's typical of the architecture of the day. It would be a shame to lose it, and the town would probably regret it for a long time, particularly when this project will be partially financed by public money.

It always puzzles me when proposals like this come up. Are there really no options that don't involve destroying the building? I would much rather see new development that fills in the holes in the urban fabric rather than replaces something with something else, particularly when the something being replaced is a historic 7-story building. Raleigh went down that road with First Citizens, and got burned big time. (If that lot hadn't been there, RBC could have just gone with Lot 1 on the RCC site.)

Back in Winston-Salem, isn't there a surface lot right next door to the Pepper building, and couldn't that 13-story be there and incorporate its own parking instead?

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I don't think the problem is a lack of space, but the condition of the Pepper building itself. Apparently it isn't struturally sound and it's facade and interior spaces have been abused by vagrants. It hasn't been occupied for years. I imagine the cost of rehabbing it and bringing it up to code is prohibitive.

Plus the city doesn't appear too interested in saving historic buildings. Several weeks ago the original Wachovia building, which is in far better shape and currently occupied, was denied status as a local historic landmark.

I noticed there was no mention of the original Forsyth County Courthouse in the WSJ article. Wasn't that originally a part of this development?

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i have mixed feelings about the tower. the height is okay but if this is the "centerpiece" for dt, then it should 3 times as tall. however the footprint, according to the graphic will be huge. the size of the buildng could add to the skyline even though it wont be very tall.

the courthouse is still part of the plan, it just wasnt mentioned. its hard to imagine how they could reuse that building..unless it will be converted to a museum or a library.

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The question is as someone pointed out is the interior in usable shape. Not just structurally safe but also useful for modern living as apartments/condos or work with the required wiring needed today. The facade is not too bad but if it goes, at the very least, there is the O'hanlon building across the street which is a far more elegant of a building.

As for a picture of the Pepper building here is one taken from my photography site:

towers_downtown_th_32.jpg

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We need a grocery store! C'mon council....think

A grocery store like a Fresh Market is what downtown living needs to make it viable. There is enough people downtown working in the towers along Main St. to drop in the day for light shopping and if there is a prepared food section, ideal for after work dinner pickup. Nissen apartments is less than 5 minutes away by foot as well as the bus terminal and the hotels. West End village may need its own grocery store though.

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I live downtown and would love to see a grocery store open up. In fact, there is an old empty store front on 4th street that would be perfect. However, there are two Harris Teeter's within a 5 minute drive of downtown, so we won't see one until there are more people living here. The Nissen Building is still largely empty and is makes up a majority of downtown housing.

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FYI, if you go to the article on the Winston-Salem Journal website, you can post your comments about the project. Since it's probably a more visible forum, post your comments so that they are more impactful and visible to the developer and City Council.

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I agree, I would much rather see this building renovated and converted to condos than to be torn dorn for a new condo tower. Its buildings like the Pepper Building that gives Winston its soul. Thats what I like about the city. it has that old urban vibe that you see in northeastern cities.

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