City Council rezones property for entertainment use

Earlier this month the Winston-Salem City Council voted unanimously to rezone more than 20 acres of land to accommodate entertainment-related uses. 

City Council rezones property for entertainment use
December 20
13:32 2018

Earlier this month the Winston-Salem City Council voted unanimously to rezone more than 20 acres of land located on the east and west sides of North Patterson Avenue between Tenth Street and Northwest Boulevard to accommodate entertainment-related uses. 

The petition submitted by The Liberty Group, LLC/Castle Rock Holdings requested that the council change the zoning of the property from LI (Limited Industrial), GI (General Industrial), and GB-S (General Business-special use) to E for Entertainment. The E District is intended to accommodate a mixture of retail, office, residential, and entertainment uses. 

The Discussion of an entertainment district began in 2012 when the City Council voted to change property near Trade Street between Seventh Street and Ninth Street from Unified Development Ordinance to Entertainment. And in 2015 Council voted to rezone nine acres of land to E-L (Entertainment Limited) in the same area. 

The property in question this time has a long history of industrial use, but for nearly a decade many of the factories and large building spaces on the land have been vacant. Current businesses in the area include the Bethesda Center for the Homeless, Crisis Control Ministry, the Alexander Beaty Public Safety Training and Support Center and The Ramkat, a music and performance space at the corner of W. Ninth Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

When asked about the rezoning last week, Robert Pettice, a local entertainment promoter, told The Chronicle that the expansion of the entertainment district will attract more students and visitors to the area.

He said, “From my experience in the entertainment industry, this area definitely attracts college students from the apartments around, and it draws visitors and hotel guests, and they love it. Since [Business] 40 shut down, it seems like business has increased … This is now the focal point for people as they maneuver through the city.”

During the City Council meeting on Dec. 3, City-County Planning Director Aaron King said the rezoning is consistent with the Legacy 2030 Plan, which calls for entertainment venues along the northern edge of downtown. 

“It could spur redevelopment in an area that has been underutilized for quite some time and where we have public infrastructure currently available,” King said. 

King mentioned the rezoning could also call for the installation of additional lighting and crosswalks. 

Before making a motion to approve rezoning, Mayor Tempore Vivian Burke, who represents the Northeast Ward, asked for a brief presentation for those who haven’t had the opportunity to see exactly where rezoning will take place. Burke also echoed King’s statement about redeveloping the underutilized area.

“It has been a very dead area for quite some time and bringing that alive may do more to make the area look better. Those warehouse buildings have been there for ages.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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