Bailey Power Plant wraps up years of construction

Bailey Power Plant wraps up years of construction
February 15
08:51 2018

After 19 months of construction and a $40 million investment, the largest redevelopment project in the history of NC officially wrapped up last week, on Thursday, Feb. 8, when city officials and others cut the ceremonial ribbon on the historic Bailey Power Plant in downtown Winston-Salem.

The former power plant, which provided electricity and steam for R.J. Reynolds in the heart of downtown, is the last of the historic buildings that will be redeveloped by Wexford Science+Technology in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The original structure located on the corner of Patterson Ave. and Fourth Street was built in the 1940s and was the power hub for Reynolds’ manufacturing plant until the plant closed in the late 1950s, when the company moved its plants out of the downtown area.

In 2016 when construction began on the 111,479 square foot structure, Eric Tomlinson president of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter (WFIQ) mapped out a plan for the renovated space which included retail stores, restaurants, and business offices. And on Thursday, Feb. 8 new life was pumped into the five story building when members of the community had the opportunity to tour the building following the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“This building has been completely rehabilitated and is now a true jewel to the Innovation Quarters,” Tomlinson said during the ceremony.

Several businesses have already claimed their space in Bailey including Alma Mexicana, a restaurant located on at the corner of Fifth Street, and CML Microsystems, a company that designs semiconductors. Other tenants will be moving in later this year. The facility also features a two-level communal area, and several conference rooms, and office spaces.

Venture Café will hold its weekly mixer events to promote entrepreneurship inside Bailey Power Plant as well.

The completion of Bailey Power Plant wraps up eight years of construction and redevelopment in the downtown area totaling 1.1 million square feet. According to Tomlinson, before the power plant was complete Innovation Quarters employed 3,000 and with the newest addition their goal will be to triple that number.

Derwin Montgomery, representative for the East Ward and co-owner of The Chronicle said the 240,000 residents of the city should be proud of the investment that was made to turn the abandoned power plant into a multi-use space that everyone can enjoy.

“When you think about $40 million being invested in this community and in this city that makes a great difference. That means there’s jobs, it means people are going to work every day but it also factors in for us as a community as we continue to transition our economy,” he continued.

“… I think today this central location is the epitome of where we’re going in the future as a city.”

Montgomery said when people visit downtown Winston-Salem they will admire the innovation that has helped transform the city.

David Plyler, county commissioner, said he remembers when construction began on the power plant, so to see the finished product is an amazing feeling. He said, “I’ve watched the progress every week, and it has been a marvelous sight.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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