In the next two weeks work will begin on an $87 million investment to renovate two old manufacturing buildings into 242,000 square feet of lab, research and office space in the Piedmont Triad Research Park. The joint venture between the PTRP and Wexford, Inc. will bring over 500 jobs to downtown Winston- Salem, 130 of which will be newly created positions over the next 5 years. The project is a tremendous example of the commitment of city, county and state governments and major private employers to invest in the economic development of our region. The buildings were donated by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and the project will require $6.2 million in infrastructure upgrades that Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have agreed to split. In addition, Federal Historic and State Mill Rehabilitation tax credits will combine to cover approximately $26 million of the total investment. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has already pledged to occupy 85% of the new space. The balance of the space should be occupant-ready by early 2012. In keeping with the sustainability commitments of PTRP, Wexford has committed to attaining LEED certification for the new facility.

This project represents one of the largest economic development investments in recent history in Winston-Salem and only adds to the momentum we are seeing in the bioscience sector.