New Winston-Salem role for Reynolds’ Whitaker Park

New Winston-Salem role for Reynolds’ Whitaker Park

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company said yesterday that it had agreed to donate a significant portion of its Whitaker Park manufacturing plant and surrounding properties to a local redevelopment group, WPDA.
WPDA is a non-profit corporation created by Winston-Salem Business, the Winston-Salem Alliance and Wake Forest University to undertake economic and redevelopment projects.

As part of the agreement, R.J. Reynolds is due to donate a laboratory building to WPDA early this year. The Whitaker Park plant and other properties will then be transferred to the group over the next 12-24 months.

The laboratory, a 70,000-square-foot building on about four acres of land, is being donated first because of its potential for near-term economic development.

The donation will include also about 120 acres of prime commercial and industrial land, along with buildings totaling about 1.7 million square feet.

“We’re pleased that a local group has stepped forward and committed resources towards repurposing this great and historic plant and its surrounding properties,” said Mark A. Peters, senior vice president and chief financial officer of R.J. Reynolds. “We’re confident these properties will play a key role in the economic development and transformational growth of Winston-Salem and the greater Triad region.”

The Whitaker Park manufacturing plant was opened in 1961.