Sign in to follow this  
eddard

Downtown Winston-Salem Developments

Recommended Posts

eddard    0

From the W-S Journal:

Downtown could be at turnaround point

Civic group points to revitalization projects

By Richard Craver

JOURNAL REPORTER

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Downtown Winston-Salem still has many revitalization projects to accomplish, but local officials said yesterday that the community might come to see 2004 and 2005 as pivotal years for its turnaround.

More than 200 people attended the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership's annual meeting at the Adam's Mark Winston Plaza Hotel.

Partnership officials said that downtown is showing more signs of vitality. Among the 2004 accomplishments they pointed to were the renovation of the Winston Towers; expansion within Piedmont Triad Research Park; seven residential developments completed, under construction or announced; and increases in attendance at music festivals and the Films on Fourth series.

Steve Snelgrove, the chairman of the partnership, said that it's becoming clearer that a strong downtown is important to the entire community. "You get it that this is significant to our quality of life, but also those of future generations," Snelgrove said.

Snelgrove said that the partnership has a "full plate of work to do" in 2005, including assessing its own activities. The partnership also plans to focus on such issues as downtown safety, proposed repairs to Business 40, finding a new use for the old Forsyth County courthouse and enhancing marketing efforts.

"We may say that these were the years that Winston-Salem began to look forward to what we can be instead of looking back at what we were," Mayor Allen Joines said.

Valecia Crisafulli, a revitalization consultant for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was the keynote speaker at the meeting.

She said that the revitalization efforts are making downtown more attractive to young people and retiring baby boomers.

Many downtowns, she said, are appealing to creative young professionals with condominiums or lofts, restaurants and nightlife.

But Crisafulli said that baby boomers are pursuing the same amenities and in many instances have more disposable income. They also have a greater interest in being closer to their children or grandchildren than previous generations.

"This generation is retiring differently, such as retiring in stages," Crisafulli said. "Now that their children are out of the house, they are opening small businesses that they always wanted to have. Downtowns need to tap into that interest.

"They want walkable downtowns, eclectic food and entertainment choices, same as the creative class."

Crisafulli encouraged residential developers to provide housing for "all price points" because that is a big key to a diversified downtown.

The partnership recognized five groups and individuals for their contributions to downtown revitalization. They are Downtown Thai and Sweet Potatoes restaurants, Speakeasy Jazz nightclub, Time Warner Cable and Dale Pollock, the dean of the school of filmmaking at North Carolina School of the Arts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


StevenRocks    0

It would be nice to see downtown Winston-Salem revitalized. It's a cool place filled with officeworkers and surrounded by residences and highway access, but yet there's nothing much there. Glad to see things are changing for the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JunktionFET    0

I think downtown Winston has a great deal of potential and is already well on its way. Like NC's other cities, Winston jumped on board the downtown redevelopment bus at a good time and they have already made some excellent choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eastsider    240

I think Winston-Salem already has a good foundation. I really like the feel around trade street with the arts galleries/shops. Alot of activity through there on the weekends I have been up their. The only think that downtown seems to be lacking is a wider variety of entertainment options, but that sounds like its changing with the new movie theater and other projects that have been annonced. Looking forward to see how it all comes together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree Eastsider, Winston's Downtown does lack entertainment. The weekend and evening Festivals are great, but we need something that would keep people downtown year-round. I think things are changing though....now the citizens of Winston, not just the elected officials, all seem to want a more vibrant downtown. Speaking about me personally, I've been downtown more in the past year than I have in all of the 20+ years that I've lived in Winston.

There is a push for more downtown housing....I think that will only help growth. The planned projects are great...I'd just like to see them actually built.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
twincity    5

Yeah Winston has a history of announing big projects and then leaving the public hanging. ex. Civic Plaza, Ball Park, Library Expansion, Blur Rhino HQ, Arts district mid-rise. One thing that i do believe is that downtown is going to see a sudden burst of life... when Nissen adds residents directly to 4th street...along with the Davis condos. The Marriott and Embassy Suites will also bring plenty more visitors to that area. The new hotels and apartments will be complete around the same time this summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one important thing about New Urbanism that downtown W-S seems to be missing is an appeal to various income levels. I'm a Wake Grad student and looked to buy downtown, but the cost is amazing right now. For a city that is so well segregated (most white people above downtown, everyone else below), it would be nice to see downtown not only revitalized, but turned into a melting pot of races and incomes.

Oh, and this is my first post, so "Hey".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JunktionFET    0

downtown W-S seems to be missing is an appeal to various income levels.

You'd think that with the extreme range of cultures housed by Winston-Salem, downtown would be a motley brew of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wagwa2001l    0

The new business opening in downtown in the last few months are additng a lot. The wine bar/cafe on 6th street and the addition of Foothills Brewing Co. on 4th present actual options for a good place to go out and have a beer/wine etc. downtown. Its good to have a non-jazz/blues place downtown to go to.

I think that this summer will be the true turnaround for downtown Winston... add up the opening of the Nissen Building and more importantly, the Mellow Mushroom on 4th with the new establishments and the downtown music series and you get the resemblence of a nightlife...

Another place is slated to open on Cherry right at 4th street, not sure what is supposed to go in it... Anyone know for sure?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
basket1058    0

There a great deal of announced projects in the city that have broken ground in just the past few months. Shown here are just a couple of the ones I could get photos of around the downtown. I'm in town for a little longer so i'll try and get some more photos of what's going on downtown:

DSCN0010.jpg

Apparently in Old Salem there doing another reconstruction job at the northern periphery of Old Salem. I don't have any idea as to what it is specifically but I think they might be reconstructing the blacksmith's house that used to be there.

DSCN0011.jpg

Here is progress on a project that was announced little more than a month ago!! The site by the Old Coca Cola factory on Marshall Street is undergoing demolition with several live/work units to be built there by O'Henry Builders of Greensboro. It great to see this development being put on the fast track to completion!!

DSCN0012.jpg

Perhaps most pleasing of all is that one of the most hyped up projects in downtown, West End Village is under way!!! :yahoo: Here the condo building is just getting started as are the townhomes behind it.

DSCN0013.jpg

Here is a closer view of the townhomes under construction

DSCN0014.jpg

Also here's a new rendering that was placed on one of the nearby buildings.

Hopefully I'll have more to post tomorrow!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great pics. I am down in Winston today before heading home to DC. I am impressed with the progress being made on West End Village. I am awaiting to see more progress on the Goler Heights project though. And that new mixed use project between Old Salem and the NC School of the Arts in the traffic circle seems to be coming along very slowly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
basket1058    0

Here are a couple more I shot recently:

DSCN0017.jpg

Here a progress shot of the work being done on the new sanctuary for the First Presbyterian Chuch

DSCN0018.jpg

Trader's Row is topped out now and, needless to say, it certainly has quite a presence on Trade Street.

DSCN0019.jpg

Here's one from the Southeast Gateway showing the new YWCA that is under construction, which as of right now is the only significant piece of construction at the site, though there is some work being done to restore the creek that runs through the project.

DSCN0020.jpg

Also by the Southeast Gateway, construction is progressing nicely on the senior apartments and townhomes in the Happy Hill redevelopment

DSCN0021.jpg

This building is being built over in Winston's warehouse district, I have no clue as to what it is going to be when it is completed.

DSCN0022.jpg

Finally, here's a photo of Holly Village. It looks quite close to being finisehd and looks like it could be taking occupants sometime early this summer.

Anyway that's all I got. I'll probably be able to get some photos when i'm back from school for the summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

basket1058    0

Here's one little bit of downtown progress that has slipped nicely under the radar. Apparently the Benton Convention Center has been getting a bit of a tune up with some new garden work and some significant exterior work that will be done later on.

Link to article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yadkinv    0

This is a nice short-term, minor fix, but I hope eventually it becomes realized that the center needs to be doubled, or really trippled in size (and the room for major expansion is there). Actually, it should probably be razed to make way for a major replacement because only then would it be truly competitive. After all, a convention center built in 1969 with no expansion, only cosmetic change is at the least outmoded. I think the opinion of folks in W-S, official and otherwise is still that they cannot compete with the other big three, although hopefully this is changing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ncbrian    0

This is a nice short-term, minor fix, but I hope eventually it becomes realized that the center needs to be doubled, or really trippled in size (and the room for major expansion is there). Actually, it should probably be razed to make way for a major replacement because only then would it be truly competitive. After all, a convention center built in 1969 with no expansion, only cosmetic change is at the least outmoded. I think the opinion of folks in W-S, official and otherwise is still that they cannot compete with the other big three, although hopefully this is changing.

Question is though what kind of business the convention center could potentially attract if it expands its size. There are only so many conventions and trade shows around and as Greensboro has its own convention center to handle the bigger events in the Triad, I do not think Winston will be able to pull those events to its convention center. Regional small and mid -size events are the best Winston could probably do and you can not discount the fact that though Winston has a good number of hotel/motel accomadations, only a small portion of it is downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question is though what kind of business the convention center could potentially attract if it expands its size. There are only so many conventions and trade shows around and as Greensboro has its own convention center to handle the bigger events in the Triad, I do not think Winston will be able to pull those events to its convention center. Regional small and mid -size events are the best Winston could probably do and you can not discount the fact that though Winston has a good number of hotel/motel accomadations, only a small portion of it is downtown.

I'm with Yadkin on this. I think the center should be doubled in size. It could be expanded onto the surface lots either across Sixth St or Marshall St. And, if it's expanded, there's no reason why it couldn't compete with the Koury Center and the center in Raleigh. The Benton CC has the advantage (at least as compared to Koury) of being downtown putting it close to the Arts District, the Steven's Center and within walking distance of Old Salem and West End. Its location is a marketing advantage over Koury which is in a sea of parking adjacent to a mall whose tenants are the same tenants that the convention visitors would find in their own local mall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ncbrian    0

I'm with Yadkin on this. I think the center should be doubled in size. It could be expanded onto the surface lots either across Sixth St or Marshall St. And, if it's expanded, there's no reason why it couldn't compete with the Koury Center and the center in Raleigh. The Benton CC has the advantage (at least as compared to Koury) of being downtown putting it close to the Arts District, the Steven's Center and within walking distance of Old Salem and West End. Its location is a marketing advantage over Koury which is in a sea of parking adjacent to a mall whose tenants are the same tenants that the convention visitors would find in their own local mall.

There is no question that the location of the Benton Convention Center is an attractive one considering what is in the area now and what is being constructed and planned. But my concern is still the same, nearly every decently size city in the country has a convention center and far too many of them turned out to be white elephants for the communities that had them built in anticipation of bringing a sizeable convention business to their city. While the Benton CC is under the management of the Twin City Quarter group, I doubt anyone in the private sector would be willing to pay the expense of constructing a new center. The question then becomes whether the city and/or county is willing to put money into this expansion at the expense of other projects in the city. It is like those fantasy jobs projections of building new stadiums where proponents tout thousands of jobs and high revenues for the community but never turn out to be even close to what they say if it can be measured at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sax184    1

I'm with Yadkin on this. I think the center should be doubled in size. It could be expanded onto the surface lots either across Sixth St or Marshall St. And, if it's expanded, there's no reason why it couldn't compete with the Koury Center and the center in Raleigh. The Benton CC has the advantage (at least as compared to Koury) of being downtown putting it close to the Arts District, the Steven's Center and within walking distance of Old Salem and West End. Its location is a marketing advantage over Koury which is in a sea of parking adjacent to a mall whose tenants are the same tenants that the convention visitors would find in their own local mall.

I couldn't disagree more. There is a finite amount of Convention business out there, and Raleigh and Charlotte are already upgrading their digs downtown. Greensboro's convention center is a fry-pit surrounded piece of crap on the Interstate. For those who want to convene at such a place where easy auto access is the primary criterion, Koury wins hands-down.

In Atlanta you have one of the three biggest convention destinations in the US (the others are Vegas and Orlando). I struggle to see how expanding the W-S convention center is going to have that much of an impact on downtown. Winston needs a stronger local economic base- a strategy that heavily banks on people arriving via fossil-fueled vehicles does not make sense in a time of rising energy prices.

Frankly, I think completing the streetcar project would have a much bigger economic impact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yadkinv    0

Still, when Noble acquired Adams Mark, and converted to Marriott and Embassy Suites (great move as we all know for W-S), I'm relative sure there was a quote (can't say where now) that Noble hoped to attract national conventions. I guess I wonder how with the Benton Center the way it is now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to jump in here because I'm moving into the area and closely studying Washington Park. It is very sad that Chad's not posting on here anymore since it looked like he was a great first-hand source of information. Has another heard or read any additional information about what retail development is going into the Gateway? Their website doesn't seem to give many specifics.

I also wanted to know if anyone has heard (preferably read) that a Trader Joe's might be heading into that development. A friend I know who lives in WP said they'd heard this...speculation I know...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
krazeeboi    115

I couldn't disagree more. There is a finite amount of Convention business out there, and Raleigh and Charlotte are already upgrading their digs downtown. Greensboro's convention center is a fry-pit surrounded piece of crap on the Interstate. For those who want to convene at such a place where easy auto access is the primary criterion, Koury wins hands-down.

Greensboro's convention center is certainly not urban, but the city does benefit from having the largest arena in the state--which would seem to factor into why it has been able to snag a good bit of conventions, especially those needing more space than a typical convention center is able to afford.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.