Jun 26, 2008, 7:46 PM
Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Urban Strategies and architecture firm Design Collective will build a LEED certified half-billion-dollar, 60 acre entertainment, hotel, retail, park space, office and research project in downtown Winston-Salem. The project will include a new hotel and amphitheater at Fifth and Main streets that could be a new high-rise on Winston-Salem's skyline? The amphitheater will seat 2,000 and have an additional 1,000 lawn seats. 1.28 million square feet of space in existing historic 1920's buildings will be renovated and the Bailey Power Plant will become an entertainment and retail center. The development team said their plan will transform downtown Winston-Salem into a lively 24/7 place that is an amazing space to live, learn, work and have fun! Construction and marketing could begin this fall and the project will involve local, state and federal money/incentives. This project is connected to the proposed streetcar system, listed as a priority this month by DWSP. The developers will talk with the downtown community about what they would like to see, such as a grocery store, a day care, a fitness center, etc,. This is an exciting project and it appears it will happen.
Jun 26, 2008, 11:07 PM
Won't get built with today's economy. Greensboro and Greenville have had similar projects (Triumph Center and the Point) proposed within the last year and neither have made it off the drawing boards. And where is the news link with renderings and what not if what you say is true?
Jun 26, 2008, 11:57 PM
This experienced developer can pay for it without asking for loans from the banks. This is the development team revitalizing Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The architect was recently announced, so design work is still underway. This architect has worked on similar projects in Baltimore and Austin. Also, unlike Triumph Center, we know all companies involved with this project and they already own the land. The project also has a lead tenant. Wake Forest University Health Sciences is the lead tenant in the project and recruited the development team. This is an important project for the university in downtown and this developer was hired to accelerate the project. This is also the fastest growing area of the Triad, with something under construction every year since the mid-1990's. It will happen and ground could break as soon as this fall.
As someone from Greenville, you may find this interesting: Currently, they are restoring the Bath Waterway through this development. It will include a waterway similar to the Reedy River, with two small lakes, pedestrian bridges, a bike & walking path connecting to Winston-Salem's Pedestrian Walkway System and a waterfall. And yes, that is under construction.
Jun 27, 2008, 12:06 AM
Not only is it happening in Greenville and Greensboro, but it is now happening in Charlotte at the Epicentre complex: http://news14.com/content/top_stories/596917/dispute-could-close-epicentre-bars/Default.aspx It's getting nasty out there folks. Regarding this proposed project for Winstom-Salem, i'll believe it when I see it.
Jun 27, 2008, 11:49 AM
This is a great project. So was Greensboro Triumph Center and other similar projects. but I have to agree with g.man. There has been alot of big proposals in recent months in cities across the state and the south and they either never leave the drawing board or they get put on hold. Having the financing isnt everything. According to Ray Gibbs, former DGI president, Issac Cain had the financing secure for the Greensboro Triumph Center. But what happened? No one still knows where that project is today. Many say its dead and others are saying its on hold. Its a mystery to me but in these times its hard to see a project like that getting off the ground at the moment, especially when they are scaling back are halting parts of the EpiCenter in Charlotte, a city with far more resources. But its a great proposal no doubt but I dont see it getting off the ground at this time, especially if it has a large residential component.
But I will say this, even though it likely wont happen in Winston-Salem anytime soon, I hope it does because there were some city leaders in Greensboro and land owners of sites being considered for the Greensboro Triumph Center that had big doubts about that project happening. If a similar project happens in Winston-Salem, those city leaders in Greensboro will be regreting that they didnt get behind the Triumph Center. People like Jim Melvin and other in city government blasted the project as being unrealistic. It will show them that they better not turn away from another proposal like that again.
Jun 27, 2008, 12:17 PM
This is a scheduled part of the PTRP development, and this outfit is the one that did the Inner Harbor renovation and conversion in Baltimore. The Winston-Salem project has been on their website for months.
Jun 27, 2008, 6:31 PM
There are some major reasons to doubt this project will come to fruition:
1. The economy. For a while it looked like North Carolina and DC were in some Mid-Atlantic bubble of perpetual prosperity that insulated them from the avalanche of doom and gloom halting projects like this throughout the nation. But the cancellation and stalling of similar projects in once red-hot Charlotte reflects just how profound and universal the current economic slowdown/recession is. Everywhere is affected. This is no time to be optimistic about new major projects starting.
2. Other projects in Winston have been cancelled or put on ice. The much publicized West End Village is incomplete and several other projects we thought would be well under construction right now haven't even moved the ground yet. Why would this new project be an exception?
3. If this project is such a sure thing, why didn't they announce it decently and properly by calling a major press conference with all media present, provide names of tenants, stores, etc? Why announce it in the Saturday Journal, the edition with the lowest readership? The fact that even they say they will not start construction until sometime in the fall makes me even more highly skeptical. Also, where are the comments from city leaders and officials? Usually such a huge, region-shaping announcement would elicit comments from city officials and groups by now, but there is deafening silence.
Reasons why it might actually happen:
1. This is no ordinary developer. This is a first rate, real deal developer. Having the developer behind the Inner Harbor commandeer this project is impressive. They can make things happen when others can't.
2. This is not a new plan. This has been part of the PTRP North plans for some time. PTRP has already exceeded expectations. The final project may not be as ambitious as this is on paper, but there is a good chance that some version of it will come to pass.
3. The economy will rebound eventually.
Jun 27, 2008, 8:43 PM
Developments like Epicenter and Triumph Center, were proposed by local developers with no experience, as first time leaps into big projects. With Triumph Center, the architect and other details were never announced and they never bought any land.
The reason I know it will happen is the group behind the developer. Wake Forest University Health Sciences; the largest employer in the 12-county Triad area. The development proposed in Winston-Salem isn't the average condo/retail/office development. It is the proposed research campus of Wake Forest University, one of the nation's top medical research institutes, in partnership with other area colleges/universities.
Compare it to Clemson's 250 acre ICAR development, but instead of cars, the research is on health, medicine, etc.
This development in Winston-Salem is the Piedmont Triad Research Park or PTRP and it is currently under construction. Wake Forest University Health Sciences, along with three or four other universities/colleges, are building it under the name "Idealliance!." Wake Forest University already has a research campus, but that campus is landlocked by some of the state's most beautiful and historic neighborhoods (Ardmore, West Highlands and West End). The neighborhoods have teamed-up to prevent the campus from growing outward, so the campus has grown upward for the past few decades. If these buildings were in Greenville, they would be among the city's tallest buildings. The Janeway Clinical Sciences Building would be the third tallest, if it was in Greenville. Their parking decks are taller and larger than your city's Hyatt Regency Hotel. This campus is shared with the Bowman Gray University School of Medicine, Brenner Children's Hospital and North Carolina Baptist Medical Center, the second largest hospital in Winston-Salem, third largest hospital in North Carolina and the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the entire Triad area. The hospital is growing fast and a decision was made to give Hawthorne Hill to the hospital and move the university medical research activities to another location. The location selected was 240 acres on the eastern side of downtown Winston-Salem. This is a rushed project. They want it open yesterday, but that isn't an option, so they have settled for 2014, when they expect to have 10,000 jobs on a completed campus.
As a downtown location, it has different challenges than Hawthorne Hill has. The streets are on a grid, condos and bank offices are mixed-in with their properties, the area around them hosts street festivals, people are in the area for restaurants and live music, a concert hall and artist colony is almost in the middle of this site, they must deal with historic buildings the community wants to save and as you can see, they can't build & operate as a typical office park. It has to fit-in with these surroundings. They have no experience doing this. So far the universities and JDL Castle Corp., have built part of the campus, but the project is moving too slow. This year alone, the main operations of the $85 million United States Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine was announced as a tenant and now Duke Energy is helping to launch the North Carolina Translational NanoMed Institute in the park. As I said before, the park is also working with other universities at the new downtown location and it accepts outside (non-university) tenants, such as Targacept (a biopharmaceutical company headquarters traded on NASDAQ), and now it is attracting conventions/trade shows. AFIRM alone is expected to attract several outside (non-university) tenants to the park in a very short amount of time. The Center for Design Innovation by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is also expected to attract many outside tenants and a new biotech classroom by Forsyth Technical College is proposed to bring more students and business partnerships to the park.
The best thing to do in this situation is hire an expert and that is exactly what they did with this announcement. They found a developer familiar with historic building renovations, retail/entertainment, hotels, new construction, waterway daylighting, LEED design & construction, office space, university buildings and building in downtowns. In all in one company, with the ability to make things happen fast. It will have condos, it will have some office space and it will have a large entertainment center, but the core of the project is the construction of the research park for this wave of growth and to build it as soon as possible.
The big announcement of this company was made a few months ago, but considering the contracts were finalized a week or so ago, it should be amazing this company will have designs ready, a sales team ready and break ground in three months. It's not delayed until fall it is accelerated to the fall. It's not one or two buildings in the first phase, but 40 of the 60 acres they will develop.
Now you know why I know this will happen. If it was a plan by a local developer to build condos and retail north of the Arts District, I would question it. This isn't dependent on the condo or office market. It is dependent on universities, government research and technology.
Jun 27, 2008, 11:05 PM
There is a big difference between Triumph Center and the north District of PTRP.
First of all, Triumph Center never had any specifics. no tenants, no website, no construction site, vague numbers, no renderings, no site plans, nothing. In a matter of weeks it jumped from $50 million to $300 million and the largest project ever, for a downtown in any NC city (IMO, that alone is a red flag). dont get me wrong, i do feel that it will happen in some shape or form. But the way the N&O and the TV news handled it was very awkward and premature.
As for PTRP, the North District has a tenant lined up. WFU plans to relocate 700+ employees to PTRP. also, theres a small possiblity of more with CDI, Tengion, WFDD and FTCC considering the park. I wouldnt count out WSSU either. Struever's proposal has a site selected, a webpage, renderings and specific numbers. They are already asking for bids from contractors. the plan was formed in 2002...lead developer announced in 2007...development is scheduled for 2008. this is by all means, no out-of-the-blue proposal.
Jun 27, 2008, 11:57 PM
Well, the Point in Greenville was proposed by two major developers (McChesney Investment Advisors and Greenberg-Farrow) and it's not going to get built. It had a website, site plan, renderings, numbers, etc.: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=132236 If a major university is involved like Clemson is with ICAR then it will probably get built which is a good thing. :) Does anybody have any renderings for this proposed project for Winston-Salem?
Jun 28, 2008, 3:44 AM
The architect (Design Collective) was named last week. It's too early to have drawings ready. Urban Strategies must also complete their work before any renderings are completed.
I'm familiar with McChesney Investment Advisors' work and they are a small developer, with a portfolio centered around Georgia and South Carolina. (Town homes, single family homes and maybe a single low-rise residential project) The Point was a first time leap into a large scale project by McChesney Investment Advisors. Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and Design Collective have worked on larger projects in major US cities, from Boston to Houston. Large developments in the $100 million - $1 billion range are common for Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and that is a reason they were selected WFUHS must have a developer on this project with the ability to complete it with-in 6 years.
Jun 28, 2008, 3:56 PM
I hope the proposed project in Winston is actually built. I read about it earlier this week and saw the renderings. Looks very attractive. Would be nice to see a 30 - 40 storey built in that area too. Wishful thinking I know.
Jul 3, 2008, 11:26 PM
It's funny how other stalled developments are thrown up as "evidence" for why this totally unrelated project in Winston-Salem won't get built. Newsflash: the economy hasn't stalled every project out there. As a matter of fact, in the vast majority cities seeing a significant amount of development, there are many more projects getting built than are not. The real losers are those who rode the housing boom like it was going to last forever (i.e., Miami).
Jul 7, 2008, 2:29 PM
I agree with KBO, with the exception of florida the rest of the contry is doing pretty well with mixed use and commercial development. 210 trade was slated a go but then the discrepancies between the two developers is what stopped it, not the economy, the funding was there. I hope the project in Winston-Salem goes it seems to be the thing right now these mega structures housing everthing almost like a stand alone city with in a city, I think its a good idea. In my opinion they need to focus more on retail instead of bars and resturants at least more retail than the latter. The universities and reaserch depts is a big plus and if the cities incentives are attractive (which Im sure they are if they are hunting down these guys) Im sure it should have the upper hand vs some other projects. has anyone heard anything about a G.C. yet? I know its way to early but sometimes they have an idea. I would love to be involved in something of that stature.
Jul 9, 2008, 3:46 PM
Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse is also the GC. You can check their bid board, if you're interested in working on the project. Wake Forest University and not the city, brought this developer to the city and spent months working-out the details. The city and county will be asked to work on streets, sidewalks, etc. A large part of the project is eligible for historic tax credits, but they will also develop several acres where there are no structures currently standing. It should be interesting to see how many new buildings the city gains. I noticed converting downtown power plants in older cities into retail/entertainment centers is popular now. The architect working on Winston-Salem's Bailey Power Plant is also working on a similar power plant project in Austin, Texas. It appears as if Winston-Salem is gaining more development now than when the housing market was at its peak? Usually, Winston-Salem's downtown development increases during bad economic times. In the late 70's and early 80's (worst recession in the last 60 years), Winston-Salem added two or three skyscrapers to the skyline, including the nation's first "smart" skyscraper (21- storey insurance company headquarters designed to save energy at the height of the national energy crisis).
When the economy improves, it wouldn't surprise me if 210 Trade is built. It may not be under the same developer and it may not look exactly the same, but the site is built for a tower and it is a good location for a residential & office tower.
Jul 10, 2008, 6:03 PM
My gut feeling says it will happen, maybe not right away, but it will likely be scaled back. Remember "Unity Place"? It was a sure thing and the developers were behind that project. It was suppose to have an IMAX/Movie theater, Krispy Kreme Headquarters/museum condos, townhomes and a large amphitheater. That project was less ambitious than this proposal and it fell through. A project is being built to replace Unity Place but its a scaled back development. Greensboro saw this with Bellemeade Village. There was another plan some years back by a Tennessee developer that wanted to build an entertainment/restaurant row in downtown Winston-Salem which would have included a Hard Rock Cafe'. Building a skyscraper or hotel is one thing. But a development such is this is very complex. There are alot of moving parts that can make a break a project like this. Remember PTRP was suppose to have far more labortories by this time so things dont always go as planned. Kenneth Reiter, a senior development director for Strueve said that Struever is likely to request local, state and federal financial assistance as it proceeds. It might be difficult in this day in time for local and the state government to cough up signifigant funds for this half a billion dollar project. The project would likely secure federal grants though. The state of the economy is why I believe this project will be on hold for a pretty good while and its not enough to have the financial backing for the project. Its the risk during a time when the economy is in flux. Would potential tenants for this development take the financial risk? The price of oil and other segments of our economy affects everything we do.
Jul 10, 2008, 9:19 PM
Unity Place was the proposed headquarters of Krispy Kreme. The large office building and restaurant museum didn't happen, because Krispy Kreme had financial problems due to growing too fast and the CEO "cooking the books." The residential development on the site is larger than before and now contains a proposed mixed-use tower. The arts theatre moved to the Sawtooth Center and could breakground soon. The movie theatre is now proposed as part of the ballpark development, with groundbreaking set for next year. I don't think Wake Forest University will expand too quickly into other states and share false information with investors and the SEC. In fact, Wake Forest doesn't have any investors on Wall Street or reports to file with the SEC. The only SEC Wake Forest is concerned with, is maybe a football bowl game against a South Eastern Conference team.
John Elkington proposed his retail and entertainment rows in several cities over the past ten years and never built any of them. No one takes his proposals seriously these days. Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse has never had a failure in any of their proposals and they are taken seriously. This developer was hired to accelerate project for the universities and for their expertise in all of the development/construction fields related to this project. I don't think they would attempt to take the project if the didn't think they could build it successfully.
Bellemeade Village didn't happen due to the market being flooded with similar residential units at that time. Bellemeade Village had to cut prices and scale back, but still had problems selling their residential units. Residential isn't the main use of this project, so this has no impact.
According to Idealliance!, they are ahead of their goals and on track for 10,000 news jobs at PTRP and a completion date of 2014. None of the projects presented by those who think it won't happen is comparable to PTRP. PTRP is a research park. If you can find a university backed research park with non-university tenants mixed with the universities that has failed to breakground, then we have something comparable. Usually, major universities have examined the risk, know what they are doing, have the money and have the ability to follow through. This is an unusual project, since it is an urban research park. These developments are usually suburban. PTRP was the first urban research park in the nation.
Jul 11, 2008, 5:34 PM
I dont know if the article mentioned this, but are they going for historic tax credits for the rehab portion?
Jul 20, 2008, 1:19 AM
It's good to see you posting again, Matthew.
Let us know how this shapes up, could be big for downtown Winston Salem. Any word on whether the Pepper building will be saved or whether people are still looking to tear it down? I seem to remember some talk about it being torn down for a new development.
Jul 21, 2008, 1:11 AM
The community fought to save the Pepper Building and late last year, DWSP agreed it will become a part of Civic Plaza as apartments and retail. To make room for a new skyscraper beside a restored Pepper Building, Third Street will move half a block to the south and become 2 1/2 Street. The developer of the new One Park Vista tower (under construction) is the developer selected for the park and two proposed skyscrapers. We should have new renderings of Phase II and a timeline for construction of the park and a possible mixed-use 15-23 storey Two Park Vista soon (next month?). Phase I of Civic Plaza (One Park Vista) will open next month.
They are seeking tax credits and it wasn't in the paper.
Jul 21, 2008, 7:22 PM
Glad they saved it. Once you've torn stuff like that down, you don't get it back...
Jul 24, 2008, 4:57 PM
I have worked for WFUHS for many years now and I have never know them to announce a project and then cancel it, or scale it back. This project is not driven by the economy and I know for a fact that it is going to happen. It has been on the planning board for years now. Now I cannot speak for the ball park development because it is probably going to be driven somewhat by the economy, but the PTRP project will be completed as planned. As Matthew said, West End Villiage is a much larger project than Unity Place and it was published in the WSJ a few weeks ago that this project would be completed as well, but it will be market driven. The ballpark will also have a residential componet with retail, offices, and a movie theater according to Phase 2. When complete the ballpark will be like Birkdale Villiage with a main street with retail below and residential above. Right now there are far more project going on in Winston than you might think. West End Villiage - Green and 4th-presales, Tobacco Square Lofts-completed, Winston Factory Lofts-under construction, The Gallery Lofts-under construction, The Gateway-completed phase 1, Salem Place Towhomes 1/3 completed-under construction, One Park Vista-under construction, 248 S. Main-Proposed-Presales, Civic Plaza Plans-Finalized in October which will consist of a park, Pepper building restoration, and a high rise, Struever Bros project in PTRP-Begins Fall 2008. I did not mention the renovations that Mike Coe is working on in the arts district converting a former office building into apartments.
Jul 25, 2008, 4:23 PM
Is there really a need for the personal attack? Why not just state your case without attacking someone?
Aug 4, 2008, 6:26 AM
I really am praying to see this development start construction as soon as possible. It would be such a regional asset and magnet.
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