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Downtown Winston-Salem Developments

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Following the Livability.com ranking for top American downtowns among the non-major cities (New York, LA, Chicago, etc), Winston-Salem is selected as the 8th best U.S. downtown among all cities by Forbes magazine.

1. Chicago

2. Portland, OR

3. Burlington, VT

4. Indianapolis

5. San Antonio

6. Savannah

7. Kansas City

8. Winston-Salem

9. Greenville, SC

10. Santa Monica


Edited by intcvlcphlga
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Winston Salem downtown feels more urban to me than even Raleigh.  I think it is tall buildings mixed with a lot of older factories turned offices, apartments etc.  The old Forsyth County courthouse is

Various Winston Salem downtown photos including new apartments in old county courthouse and some of your great historical buildings including Nissen Bldg and of course the Kimpton Cardinal at RJReynol

Upstart medical tech firm moves from Boston to downtown Winston in the incubator Winston Starts. https://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2019/11/01/musician-moves-boston-based-medical-technology.h

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Although it's a bit of a stretch of call these downtowns the best in the entire country, it is a great way to highlight the great downtowns of cities that otherwise might not get coverage. The Forbes article notes that Winston-Salem got a mention largely because of Old Salem, which it says is "like a little slice of Old Williamsburg in the center of a mid-sized city."

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wow, W-S is getting national media acclaim for its burgeoning downtown! Exciting times.....

"Although Winston-Salem has a lot to offer from an active arts and culture scene, it’s the downtown district of Old Salem that really earns the city a place on the list. Many of our cities boast historic downtowns, but Old Salem’s is different because of its focus on the town’s former Moravian settlers, and because there is a steadfast effort to keep parts of downtown in a time warp to the 18th century. It’s like a little slice of Old Williamsburg in the center of a mid-sized city. The whole district was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966, and continues to draw in visitors with its quaint old shops, churches, and costumed reenactors."

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Two downtown business closings were announced recently. After 20+ years of business, Urban Artware will close at the end of this year if the store is not successful in finding a buyer. Owner, Millicent Greason Spivak says lack of buyers and personal life are the reasons for closing.

Kernel Kustard has closed their store in the NIssen building. Owners did not give a reason.


Two restaurant construction updates:

Xia's Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar


Spring House Restaurant



More Main St. residential?

This building on the corner of Main and 7th is up for rezoning next month. Its sits opposite Winston Factory Lofts


Edited by twincity
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I wonder what is planned for this building. I always thought for some reason that it was pretty cool and wished something would happen there. I would think that the building may still have much of its original detail on it under all that ugly cladding. I really like this area and would like to see the Arts District expand over to Liberty and Main. All of these old factories could create a somewhat of a "factory or warehouse" village feel with apartments, retail and affordable office space.

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Fox8 reports on the recent success of downtown commercial space. The downtown vacancy rate has dropped below 10% for the first time in many years.

The city has 5 million square feet of commercial real estate downtown, which is second in size only to Charlotte. Currently, only about 400,000 square feet of that space is available for rent or purchase.

That's really unheard of in this economy. In downtown there is virtually NO class A office space available, Gayle Anderson, President and CEO of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, said.



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Iconic building could become an upscale hotel


Quaintance-Weaver of Greensboro (developers of the O'Henry and Proximity Hotels in Greensboro) are planning to convert the historic Reynolds Building in downtown Winston-Salem into an upscale hotel. Expect the best. Quaintance-Weaver does excellent work. My guess is that the hotel would take on the tobacco industry theme much like the way the Proximity in Greensboro takes on a textile theme. Their hotels are typically centered around local themes. This would not be a generic hotel and would be something special in downtown Winston-Salem. The history and character of the building will be totally preserved.

Interesting fact....this building was designed by the same architect that designed the Empire State Building. In fact, this building was the prototype for the Empire State Building.


Edited by cityboi
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I think this is the best use for this buidling, Downtown and the city needs a true luxury hotel. I know QW will do a great job preserving the RJR legacy in downtown Winston-Salem and hopefully attract interest in neighboring historic properties.


Hopefully this works out so the general public can enjoy the interior. Ive heard hat its just as impressive as the Empire State Building.

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This is indeed an excellent use for the building. Because of the historical nature of the building, the hotel would set itself apart from any of the big hotels in the area. Additional hotel rooms in the downtown area will also help attract more conventions to the Benton Convention Center. It would be nice to see them go "green" with this hotel while preserving its character.

Edited by cityboi
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The City Council has selected Vandorn Hinnant, a Greensboro artist, as the winner of the city’s Centennial Art Commission. Hinnant’s proposal was recommended to the council by a panel of three local artists who reviewed the 14 submissions the city received. Hinnant will create two free-standing metal columns, the taller of which will be at least seven feet tall, comprising isosceles triangles. The faces of the triangles will be inscribed with text and images commemorating significant historical figures and events. The selection committee recommended that the sculpture be placed in Corpening Plaza. A public unveiling will be scheduled once the piece is installed.


Edited by zalo
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I mentioned in the WS Research park thread about a friend who may be taking a job within the Park. 

In relation to this thread - he and his wife looked at WS and really fell in love with the city and downtown.   Interestingly, they checked out Greensboro as well because they heard it was larger and they thought it might be a better fit at first coming from New York, but felt WS had better downtown city-living feel and looks like if he takes the job they will live and work in there.

His basic point (and I'm semi-quoting) was that Winston Salem downtown feels like it is already there and is just growing while they feared Greensboro's downtown could go either way though they did love parts of Elm Street.
Btw they made three trips to the Triad in relation to the job offer and have spent at least one weekend in each city.  
Edited by Urbanity
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Check out this great public arts event coming up soon. They always put on a awesome exhibition and another example of Winston-Salem living up to its moniker of the City of Arts and Innovation:


Winston-Salem Light Project is a multi-media public art initiative using Winston-Salem, NC as the canvas. Events are designed and produced by the Lighting Department of the School of Design and Production at UNC School of the Arts. Since its start in 2008, WSLP has transformed buildings, parks, and city streets with lighting and projections, combining art and technology in unique, transformative ways. The project has been made possible through the generous support of the Lucifer Lighting Company in San Antonio Texas and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County.




A Celebration of Art and Light

Millennium Center

101 W Fifth Street


Re-Imagining Resources

Pepper Building

Fourth and Liberty St.


Urban Revelations

Various Locations

Fourth, Marshall, Cherry Streets


Energizing City Life

Stevens Center for the Performing Arts

405 Fourth St. NW



Winston Square Park

310 Marshall St.


River Run International Film Festival

Fourth Street at Cherry and Marshall



Winston-Salem Strollway

Old Salem Drive

Edited by zalo
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Catherine Carlock of the TBJ reports:

The major retail redevelopment on North Trade Street in Winston-Salem that I wrote about last month has its first official tenant: a distillery. That’s according to a $53,410 building permit filed by LMI Builders Inc. for a former tobacco warehouse on the 700 block of North Trade Street downtown. The distillery will be one of several tenants at the 37,451-square-foot warehouse, which was built in 1939 and is being redeveloped by veteran Winston-Salem businessman and developer Hank Perkins.
This is the second distillery to open in the Camel City, the first being Sutler's Spirits in the West End district on Mill Works Street.


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The Winston-Salem streetcar proposal needs it's own thread.  Anyway, the Winston-Salem Journal has a graphic with the preferred route.  There are few 'curves', but many turns, with the exception of the curving turn at Burke Street and Fourth Street, and Burke Street at First Street, in the West End.  Many European cities have streetcars and raillines that run thru the streets with turns, curves, cars and pedestrians.



Edited by RichardC
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The North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association has named Winston-Salem’s Fourth Street among the 2014 N.C. Great Places in the Professionals’ category for Great Main Streets, along with Hendersonville’s Main Street and Apex’s North Salem Street.

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The TBJ reports:

CN Hotels Inc. earlier this month bought a .54-acre tract at the corner of North Cherry and West Third streets in downtown Winston-Salem and is likely planning a new hotel on the property. CN Hotels purchased 235 Cherry St. using an entity named Winston-Salem Hotel, Inc. The property includes a 14,898-square-foot office building, which is home to the Piedmont Opera, as well as a street-level parking lot. The Winston-Salem property adds to the project docket for CN Hotels, which is also planning to develop a Hampton Inn & Suites at the corner of Greene and McGee streets in downtown Greensboro, as the Triad Business Journal exclusively reported last week. “We have purchased an office building at 235 N. Cherry St. in Winston-Salem,” said Mitul Patel, a partner with CN Hotels, who declined to comment on their plans for the property.

Rich Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem, said he’s heard a lot of interest for a hotel on that particular property. One source with direct knowledge of the matter indicated CN Hotels is “interested in building a hotel in downtown Winston on that corner.”

CN Hotels recently opened a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in downtown Wilmington. It also operates a 121-room Holiday Inn Express on 110 Miller St. in Winston-Salem, which is located just west of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “They’ve been in development mode for some time,” saidDavid Pope, a principal with Greensboro appraisal and consulting firm Hotel & Club Associates. Pope said stronger occupancy levels and room rates are generating new development in the Triad as well as in Charlotte and the Triangle.

“The new hotel supply has, up until this point, been fairly constrained coming out of the recession,” Pope said. “Now capital is available for new development, both on the debt and equity side, so developers are looking for opportunities.” CN Hotels bought 235 Cherry St. tract from ACF Enterprises Inc., which is managed by three Kernersville men: Chris Frantz, president of Allied Commercial Realty, and Mark Chandler and Robert Alexander of Alexander & Chandler P.A. Frantz declined to comment, and Anderson and Chandler did not return a message seeking comment. The existing 14,898-square-foot office building was built in 1964, remodeled in 1982 and is currently home to the Piedmont Opera. Frank Dickerson, executive director of the opera, did not return several messages seeking comment.

Downtown Winston-Salem hosts a 146-room Embassy Suites, a 315-room Marriott, the 80-room Brookstown Inn, and the 155-room Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center, Geiger said.

The hotel occupancy rate for all of Winston-Salem improved from 51 percent occupancy to 55.5 percent occupancy from 2011 to 2013, while the average daily rate has risen from $74 in 2011 to $80 in 2013, Geiger said, citing data from Smith Travel Research. “Occupancy is up over the last few years in Winston-Salem,” Geiger said. “Average rate is up in Winston-Salem.”


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