A major revitalization project in Winston-Salem is getting a boost. City Council unanimously passed a proposal Monday that will provide aid to the redevelopment of the Whitaker Park industrial site.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company donated its Whitaker Park manufacturing plant to a local redevelopment group last year.  The plant, which is located near Cherry Street and Polo Road closed in 2012, after the company consolidated operations at its Tobaccoville site.

The non-profit corporation known as the Whitaker Park Development Authority Inc. (WPDA) was created by Winston-Salem Business Inc., the Winston-Salem Alliance and Wake Forest University.

The group asked the city and county for a combined $8-million jumpstart on revitalization efforts. Forsyth County Commissioners have also approved their half of that amount.  

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines says the site will be transformed into a mixed-use facility that would include manufacturing.

“We believe that there could be as many as 10,000 to 12,000 new jobs created in the overall park,” says Joines. “Were' excited, we've got the first building turned over to us from Reynolds.  We're almost completed with the renovation of that building and about a third of it is leased by a tenant.”

Joines says the group hasn't officially named the first tenant, but that announcement expected in the coming weeks.

He adds if city council passes the proposal, the money would come from economic development funds that voters approved.


*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news






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