Plans are underway to transform parking lots near Wake Forest University’s athletic facilities into a multimillion-dollar entertainment destination. 

The project is a joint venture between Wake Forest University, Front Street Capital, and Carter, an Atlanta-based development company. 

Adam Parker, a vice president with Carter, says the idea is to restore the area around Allegacy Stadium, David F. Couch Ballpark, and Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum to its former glory. 

“Going back to the 80s, this part of town was really lively," he says. "Baity Street had restaurants, music, venues, bars, etc. And then once all those RJR jobs moved away from what is now Whitaker Park, a lot of those businesses that were dependent on those workers left as well.”

The development they envision includes retail shops, restaurants, housing, and a parking deck. Parker says between game days and fair events, the area already attracts up to 750,000 visitors annually.

“We want this project to be active on days when there's no football game, or no fair event, or no basketball game," he says. "We want to make this part of town somewhere that people would think to go to on days that there are no events happening in the area.”

A $35 million state grant will cover the initial infrastructure work on the project, like road construction and utility relocation. Parker says they’re seeking private investment to cover additional phases of development. 

Construction is currently slated to begin as early as the end of 2024. 

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