A gift from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. could become an integral part of Winston-Salem’s research park, benefiting the city’s biotech industry and its burgeoning downtown revival.
In 2010, Reynolds gave the Bailey Power Plant, formerly used to generate energy for its downtown facilities, to Piedmont Triad Research Park. In August, the necessary environmental abatement work began in preparation for turning the plant toward its future use. And though that use isn’t fully determined yet, it will most likely involve retail, restaurant or entertainment uses.
“There are plans for retail and restaurants around this part of the district, and this could serve as an anchor to draw in consumers, as well as serve people living in the area,” said Eric Tomlinson, the park’s president.
The area around BioTech Place — which itself served as various times as a Reynolds tobacco plant, a warehouse and a machine shop — is being transformed. And though it will largely consist of office, retail and lab space, the plan has always been to include residential and entertainment uses. It’s all part of the “work, live, play” concept. Read more.