WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – July 10, 2015 – R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company announced today that it has completed the donation of a laboratory building in the Whitaker Park complex to WPDA, Inc. (WPDA), a nonprofit corporation created by Winston-Salem Business Inc., the Winston-Salem Alliance and Wake Forest University. WPDA is pursuing opportunities to lease the approximately 87,000-square-foot building and the nearly four-acre lot on which it sits to stimulate economic development in the complex.
“The gift of the Toxicology Building by R.J. Reynolds to WPDA is the first step in our goal to re-purpose Whitaker Park into a mixed-used development,” said Don Flow, Chairman of WPDA. “We will be working closely with Winston-Salem Business Inc. to market the space to companies on our target list.”
Earlier this year, R.J. Reynolds entered into an agreement to donate a significant portion of the Whitaker Park manufacturing buildings and certain surrounding properties to WPDA. The Whitaker Park plant and remaining properties within the scope of the donation agreement will be transferred to the group by the end of 2016.
Named in honor of John C. Whitaker, a former chairman of R.J. Reynolds, the Whitaker Park manufacturing plant opened in 1961 and initially covered about 14 acres, including 615,295 square feet of floor space. Designed by R.J. Reynolds’ engineering department and constructed by employees, it was the world’s largest and most modern cigarette plant at the time.