Local Community Development Corporations

Monday, November 28, 2011

W-S 2nd Most Digitalized City by Size; Rana Loca's New Look; Wake Forest Biotech Place Update

In the 2011 results of its 10th Anniversary Digital Cities Survey, the Center for Digital Government  found Winston-Salem to be the 2nd most digitalized for cities with a population between 125,000 and 249,000.  According to their website, "[t]he survey focused on results achieved by cities, via the use of technology, in operating efficiencies and realizing strategic objectives despite current fiscal constraints."

Rana Loca, the popular 4th Street restaurant, will be closing; its owners will be opening Encore! in the same space with a menu catering to a wider, more American taste.

Finally, work on Building 91 of Piedmont Triad Research Park has been completed and will open next month as Wake Forest Biotech Place.  Pictures of the renovations can be found here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

City Leverages $180K to get $1.2 Million to finish Greenway; Spends $600K on Parks

The City Council voted unanimously to approve $180,000 to finish the Brushy Fork Greenway which will connect Winston Lake with Salem Lake and its existing 12-mile greenway.  The real beauty of the deal is that the greenway is expected to cost $1.2 million so the approval of the funds leverages over a $1 million in state transportation funds.

The City Council also approved $600,000 to spend on parks around the city including a new boathouse and pier at Salem Lake.

Friday, November 18, 2011

2-Story H&M Opens at Mall, Tengion Consolidates R&D, Caterpillar Plant's Grand Opening


H&M, the popular European (Swedish) retailer which sells popular fashions at reasonable rates, opened its second store in North Carolina at Hanes Mall on Thursday, November 17th.  The first H&M store opened in Raleigh in March 2010.

Financial struggles have forced Tengion, the PA-based regenerative medicine company that commercializes Dr. Anthony Atala's research, to cut its workforce by 58% (30 employees).  On the bright side for Winston-Salem, it is also consolidating R&D here at its space in the Piedmont Triad Research Park.

Finally, Caterpillar celebrated its grand opening of the Winston-Salem plant on Wednesday, November 16th.  The plant won't reach full capacity until 2014.  Pictures of the event - and the inside of the plant - can be found here from the Triad Business Journal.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Vibrancy Index"

In 2006, downtown Winston-Salem had 50 restaurants and 15 retail businesses.  The greater city boasted 20 galleries and museums, 13 music venues, and hosted 670 cultural events and 7 festivals per year.  During the time period of July 2010-June 2011, those numbers increased to 81 restaurants and 76 retail businesses downtown, 16 music venues, 22 festivals (not including 2 biennial festivals not held this year), and a whopping 2,519 cultural events.

The numbers speak for themselves.  Interestingly, the information was presciently gathered by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to quantify the revitalization efforts going on in the city.  While there are a few caveats (such as the fact that "bars" were not counted as restaurants in 2006 but were in 2010-2011), the findings over this time period are nevertheless astounding considering they took place in the face of one of the nation's worst ever financial crises.

West End YWCA to be turned into 21 Houses, 6 Condos

The property was purchased for an undisclosed amount by Bill Benton working through the Benton Investment Company.  According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Benton plans to turn the actual building into 6 condos and build 21 houses on the property starting at $475,000 (the condos would start at $350K).  The homes would range in size from 2,200-3,000 sq. ft. while the condos would range from 2,182-2,500; their designs are supposed to fit in with West End by featuring high ceilings, wide porches, and enclosed courtyards.