Reynolds American Building Redevelopment Getting Closer

Reynolds American has a short list of developers it’s considering for the redevelopment of its iconic former headquarters building:

A year after plans fell through to convert the iconic R.J. Reynolds building in downtown Winston-Salem into a high-end hotel, Reynolds American Inc. is close to selecting a partner to redevelop the building into a mixed-use project that could include a hotel, residential and retail space, according to a source close to the renovation discussions.

After an almost yearlong feasibility study, Greensboro hotel developer DennisQuaintance said in December 2012 that Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels would not pursue development of the 22-story R.J. Reynolds building. Quaintance said at the time that the market was too soft to support the conversion.

But since then, Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI) has been in conversations with at least seven separate developers and has narrowed the list down to three potential development candidates, the source said. The mixed-use development project would likely include a hotel, apartments or condominiums and first-floor retail space. While Quaintance had been evaluating a $50 million overhaul of the facility, it is not yet known what the project might cost under one of the developers now evaluating the site.

Moving to the Nuisance

For apartment developers it’s an all too common occurrence to hear people say “We need higher density development, as long as it isn’t anywhere near my house.”  Because of their familiarity with NIMBYism those who are in the development side of the apartment industry will probably get a kick out of this story about people moving to the nuisance and then complaining:

Yesterday I learned of a recent battle in Mecklenburg County that interested me partly because it involved neighbors’ complaints of farm odors and an environmentally-needed, green, recycling operation where everything from leaves, to vegetables to animal waste is converted into the mulch and soil materials you buy at any garden store.

And it also interested me because it was a classic “move to the nuisance and then complain” story.  In this case, all the complaining neighbors moved into subdivisions that sprang up around the already existing farm operation and then complained that manure and natural organic mulching odors are objectionable.

You can read about Wallace Farms here.  Their seven-generation farm operation (dating back to 1863) has grown and expanded over the years, and it was no secret that it existed.  And you can read about some of its battles with the City of Charlotte and NC DENR that began with complaints from neighbors at this link.