By: Bill MacRostie
On February 21st, Jen Hembree and I attended the Grand Opening of Wake Forest Biotech Place in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Located in the former R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Factory 91, a unique building constructed in 1937 with 100% glass-block walls, BioTech Place provides 242,000 square feet of substantial laboratory, meeting and commercial space.
Developed by our client, Baltimore-based Wexford Science and Technology, the $105 million project will create 350 new high-paying jobs in the heart of Winston-Salem. The rehabilitation's completion represents the first phase of a larger project that will convert the historic R.J. Reynolds tobacco factory complex into a state-of-the-art medical research and bio-tech park conceived by Piedmont Triad Research Park.
At the opening, Governor Beverly Perdue and Senator Richard Burr spoke eloquently about the re-purposing of a former cigarette factory into a health science facility, and both heavily emphasized the role the research park will play in the re-alignment of North Carolina's economy from tobacco and manufacturing to knowledge-based activities. As a Republican member of the U.S. Senate's tax-writing Finance Committee, we were especially pleased that Senator Burr attended the ceremony and witnessed first-hand the importance of the federal and state historic tax credit programs in job creation and economic revitalization. We expect Senator Burr to play an important role in the upcoming debate about federal tax reform.
Blog photo courtesy of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.