PTAA Members Briefed on Planned Business 40 Closure in Winston-Salem

Representatives from NCDOT met with PTAA members in Winston-Salem to provide them with information about the closure of Business 40 for construction. While work on the project began last year, the closure of all lanes of traffic between Peters Creek Parkway on the west, and US 52 on the east, isn’t expected until Fall of 2018.

 

At that point, the major access points to downtown Winston-Salem will include:

From the east:

  • MLK Jr. Blvd exit off of Business 40 east of US 52
  • US 52 north to MLK Jr. Blvd or Liberty St
  • US 52 south to Research Parkway

From the west:

  • Peters Creek Parkway
  • Main Street north from Silas Creek Parkway
  • Academy from Peters Creek Parkway

NCDOT’s representatives were able to answer questions from attendees about the anticipated impact the construction will have on downtown businesses and residents; address concerns about whether the project will be completed on time; advise them on how to educate their prospects and residents about the project.

You can request a full copy of NCDOT’s presentation slides by emailing PTAA staff at info AT piedmonttaa.org.

Developer Faces Uphill Battle for Zoning Approval of 144 Unit Community in Winston-Salem

A proposed apartment development in Winston-Salem, which the developer is describing as a “gateway into the city,” is facing an uphill battle. City planning staff is recommending against approval for the project, but its fate will be determined at a planning board meeting tonight (August 10, 2017).

Despite the planning staff’s recommendation, the project could get through the approval process because the developer, Daniel Donathan, has set aside 15% of the units for “reduced subsidized rentals” which addresses a key concern of city leaders: a dearth of affordable housing units in the city. From an article in the Winston-Salem Journal:

Monthly rent for the majority of the apartments is expected to range from $1,400 to $1,700.

But plans are to have 15 percent of the new apartments available “for reduced subsidized rental” at an estimated monthly rate of $650 to $750, Donathan said.

“I’m talking about having the possibility of those people that we relocate coming back into the same area,” he said.

Overall, the proposed project would result in 144 units and would be located between Peters Creek Parkway and Fourth Street, just south of Business 40.

GMAC Site Redevelopment Will Include Apartments

Winston-Salem is about to get a new mixed-use development in an old(ish) building. From the Triad Business Journal:

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines announced Thursday that local business leader Don Flow and Charlotte-based developer Grubb Properties will redevelop the former GMAC building and an adjacent site extending to Fourth Street into a business center with retail spaces and apartments.

Flow will buy the 18-story GMAC building, to which he plans to relocate all Flow Companies corporate services that are currently housed at locations throughout North Carolina and Virginia. The primary focus of the remaining floors of the building will be on attracting start-up and early-stage growth companies by offering extremely affordable space, officials said…

In a second project, Grubb will develop a $48 million residential and retail project on the site just south of the tower, including the surface parking lot. The project will include 240 residential units and storefronts along Fourth Street.

Grubb has committed to making 30 percent of the housing units affordable to working people, the city said...

The affordable housing units will be set aside for people making no more than 110 percent of area median household income. Assistant City Manager Derwick Paige said that median household income here changes over time but tends to hover around $40,500. That would put the maximum income for the affordable units at close to $44,550.

Winston-Salem Finance Committee Endorses Two Apartment Projects

Winston-Salem’s finance committee has endorsed two projects that would include apartments. The first is the redevelopment of the Pepper Building on the corner of Liberty and Fourth streets:

Coe Pepper would spend $8 million to renovate the building, including the $1.6 million loan from the city. City administrators are proposing to get the $1.6 million from money the voters approved as part of the 2014 bond package.

When the loan is repaid the money would go for future housing and neighborhood development projects…

Under the proposal the city is considering, rents on the affordable units would be $575 per month, with units charging the market rate going for $675 to $1,218 per month depending on the square footage.

The Pepper building would have 44 one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units and five studio apartments.

The second project is a proposal from Goler CDC for a 115-unit apartment community:

Goler Community Development Corporation and Laurel Street Residential LLC will be asking the city for a $325,000 grant and a $1.25 million loan to develop a 115-unit apartment complex on land in between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Chestnut Street and Patterson Avenue.

The development would consist of 14 studio apartments, 83 one-bedroom apartments and 18 two-bedroom apartments. A quarter of the units — 29 apartments — would be set aside for people who make no more than 80 percent of area median household income.

Update to Summary Ejectment Requirements in Forsyth County

Last month we passed along some information from the Forsyth County Clerk of Court regarding filing for summary ejectments:

Originally the Clerk was requiring the filing of a completed affidavit that they had developed for this purpose (found on their website at this link) but after meeting with her we were able to determine that members could visit the US Government’s SCRA website (found here) at which they can confirm the military status of any person, print the results and staple them to the complaint or bring it with them to court.

We asked for some clarification on timing and received the following via email from the Clerk after she checked with the District Court judge: How many days would the Status Report be acceptable? For the duration of the case was her answer. Presenting the Status Report or Affidavit at the time of hearing and not at filing is acceptable. She is meeting with magistrates and conveying these same issues with them to have consistency. 

So in a nutshell, what you can do is either use the affidavit provided by the Clerk or you can print off the results of the search from the SCRA website. You can attach the affidavit or printout to the complaint or you can bring it with you to court.

Unfortunately we received word today (6/10/15) that the courts have decided that affidavits will be required from now on in Forsyth County. Also, we’ve heard that the same is true in Mecklenburg County so our members who have properties there should be prepared to file an affidavit there as well.

As we learn more we will keep you updated.

 

Apartments a Significant Part of $1.2 Billion Spent on Downtown Winston-Salem Since 2000

At its annual meeting on February 24 the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership outlined how Winston-Salem’s downtown has been revitalized over the last 15+ years:

The nonprofit group listed 88 downtown investment projects since 2000 that have either been completed, are under way or for which a firm commitment has been made.

The combined capital investment value is $1.23 billion, topped by the $106 million spent on Wake Forest BioTech Place and the $100 million commitment by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center toward a major medical education facility. Both buildings are in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

The investment is divided into eight categories: health and technology (eight projects, total $445.4 million); infrastructure (10 projects, total $188.4 million); institutional and public development (15 projects, total $181.6 million); residential (15 projects, total $140 million); multiple use (eight projects, total $95.1 million); office (five projects, total $88.4 million); arts and entertainment (five projects, total $50.3 million); and commercial (22 projects, total $42.2 million).

The Nissen Building, a PTAA member, was the largest residential project at $32 million, although far from the only project downtown – Winston Factory Lofts, Plant 64, Hilltop House, The Gallery Lofts, and Link Apartments Brookstown to name just a few. The transformation of the former Reynolds HQ building into a Kimpton Hotel and apartments has recently captured the city’s imagination as well as the soon-to-open Mast General Store project that will add another marquee destination for the downtown. In other words the revitalization shows no signs of slowing down.

Meanwhile over in Greensboro the entity charged with leading its downtown revitalization, Downtown Greensboro Inc, is going through a transitional phase and is looking for a new leader. That’s important because there are several projects in the works that will alter downtown Greensboro significantly over the next few years and it’s essential that there be someone at the wheel who can bring together the various constituencies – city government, elected leaders, industry, educational institutions, etc. – and provide a strategic direction for downtown redevelopment. If Greensboro can manage to bring some strategic direction to the downtown then we’re sure to see even more apartments developed in the downtown area in addition to those like Greenway at Fisher Park, CityView and the Southeastern Building.

As for High Point, well they have a new mayor, lots of new city council members and a new city manager and one of their primary tasks is figuring out how, and where, to revitalize their city. With the furniture market they do have a unique challenge so it will be interesting to see how things evolve there.

These are indeed interesting and (finally) dynamic times in the Piedmont Triad.

The Big Eat in Winston-Salem

For the past several Januaries many of the restaurants in downtown Winston-Salem have participated in The Big Eat on Tuesdays. The participating restaurants offer a signature entree at 50% discounted prices and the result has been a great deal of participation from within the community.

Downtown Winston-Salem is one of the hottest apartment markets in the Triad, if not the state. If you’ve not been in the downtown area in a while to see what’s going on, then Tuesday nights are a prime time to check it out.

It really is pretty amazing to see how far the downtown has come in just the past 5-10 years. Of course the groundwork for the cities revitalization was laid before that, but it’s amazing to see how those plans and initiatives have come to fruition.

Given that many of our members who are based in Greensboro or High Point rarely make it to Winston-Salem, this would be as good a time as any. Greensboro is in the midst of its own transformation and we can probably anticipate even more growth in downtown apartments than we’ve already seen, and Winston-Salem offers a great glimpse into what that near future will look like.

If you’re interested in the Big Eat you can check out the participating restaurants on the map below and you can see the menu offerings here:

http://www.dwsp.org/restaurantdowntown.pdf

Housing a Big Part of Downtown Winston-Salem’s Revitalization

Winston-Salem’s downtown district has come a long way in the past 15 years and housing has played a major role in that revitalization:

In his column this week in the Business Journal, Justin Catanoso looks at just how far downtown has come in the last 15 years. He tells WFDD’s Keri Brown that a big part of the city’s revitalization plan in this area revolves around more housing.

“There are 3,100 residential units downtown, most of them built since 2006. Some 700 have come online in the past year, with more planned. Rents are high; vacancy is low. People are everywhere, a significant factor in the downtown’s steady upward trajectory,” says Catanoso.

You can read Catanoso’s full column here.

WFDD also has a five minute interview with him here.

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.

Going Modular at Hilltop House

The Triad Business Journal reports that by going with modular construction, Hilltop House will be able to open a month earlier than it would have using standard construction techniques:

Modular installation allows for greater quality control than a standard construction project, as well as bringing the project to the market faster, said Tom Calloway, CEO of CJMW Architecture, which was the project’s architect.

“When they’re building in a factory, they can build in a safer, more secure environment, and they don’t have weather delays,” Calloway said. “In designing Hilltop South, you would not know that it’s modular, because we’ve been able to create the appropriate aesthetic.”…

The Hilltop South one-bedroom units were manufactured by Carolina Building Systems in Salisbury and transported by truck to Winston-Salem. At 630 square feet, each unit is 48 feet long and 12.5 feet wide.

“We have to fit under bridges and on the roadway,” said Kevin Jarrett, senior associate with CJMW Architecture. “The real neat thing is to walk into one of these boxes and you’re walking into a finished apartment. All it’s lacking is the final coat of paint. Otherwise it’s complete down to the final lightbulbs.”

You can see a slideshow of the construction on the Triad Business Journal’s website.