Reynolds Completes Whitaker Park Land And Building Donation

Reynolds Completes Whitaker Park Land And Building Donation

4:43pm Apr 13, 2017
Whitaker Park was once a busy cigarette manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem. Closed since 2012, it's now been donated to local redevelopment organization WPDA, Inc. (Credit: Courtesy/R.J. Reynolds Tobacco)

Winston-Salem-based tobacco company RJ Reynolds has finalized a donation of land to the city.

In 2015, Reynolds promised to donate a significant portion of its Whitaker Park manufacturing plant to a nonprofit redevelopment group called WPDA.

The gift included more than 120 acres of land and building space around 1.7 million-square-feet.

Reynolds president Joe Fragnito says he’s pleased the company could complete the transaction after two years of work.

“It is our sincere hope that these properties will be an engine for economic development and will attract more jobs and opportunity to this area,” Fragnito said. “Yet another example of our commitment to supporting the communities where our employees live and work.”

The plant opened in 1961, and at the time, was the largest cigarette plant in the world. But it closed in 2012. Now, it belongs to WPDA, which is chaired by local businessman Don Flow.

In a statement, Flow thanked Reynolds for the gift, and said the organization is committed to using the property to create jobs and expand the city’s tax base.

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