Innovation Quarter is a place where diverse people, a unique mixed-use environment and a welcoming community spark the creativity and collaboration that drive innovation and growth.
525@Vine panoramic

The mission of the Innovation Quarter is to drive economic growth and build vibrant community.

3,600+ Workers
1,800 Degree-seeking Students
90 Companies
5 Academic Institutions
1,000+ Apartments and Lofts
1.6 Acres of Green Space
20 Miles of Connected Greenway
Aerial map of the Innovation Quarter

Peer Into the Past

The Roots of Innovation

The vision of the Innovation Quarter is rooted in a longstanding culture of innovation in Winston-Salem, NC, that has existed since the Moravians settled here. It continued with the manufacturing boom in the early 20th century, signaled by the exponential growth of companies like R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Hanesbrands.

As Winston-Salem made the transition from “Camel City” to “the City of Arts and Innovation” at the end of the 20th century, the focus of innovation changed from tobacco to technology. In the midst of this transition, the idea for Innovation Quarter was born.

The vision for a research park district in Winston-Salem emerged from the community. A group of academic, business and government leaders created the North Carolina Emerging Technology Alliance—later re-named Idealliance—and developed a plan to transform downtown Winston-Salem.

Innovation Quarter, as it is today, grew from that seed, led by Wake Forest Health Sciences in partnership with city, county and state government, local businesses, developers and community members, all who participated in its development shared the vision of creating a thriving downtown that could sustain the region and beyond.

Read about some of our milestones below.

1998: Plans for a downtown-based research park—initially known as the Piedmont Triad Research Park—were announced.

2002: A 25-year build-out of the district is announced that would cover more than 200 acres.
2005: Reynolds American donated 16 acres in downtown Winston-Salem to support the growing project.

2010: Reynolds donated another 22 acres—including Bailey Power Plant—along with $2 million to develop the district.
2012: Wake Forest Biotech Place, a redevelopment of former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. warehouses by Wexford Science & Technology, opened.

2013: The park was renamed Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
2014: Internationally recognized Inmar Inc. relocates approximately 900 associates to its new team support center and headquarters in two renovated R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. buildings.

2015: Bailey Park opens, providing 1.6 acres of publicly accessible green space in downtown Winston-Salem.
2016: The Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education—a new medical education building for Wake Forest School of Medicine—opens after the renovation of a former Reynolds American tobacco manufacturing plant.

2017: Wake Forest University opens Wake Downtown, a downtown campus that houses undergraduate courses in engineering, biochemistry and drug discovery.
2017: 757 North, the first new build apartment community developed by the Goler Community Development Corporation, opens on North Chestnut Street.

2018: Bailey Power Plant opens, the first true mixed-use space providing office, entertainment and retail.
2020: Wake Forest Innovation Quarter becomes Innovation Quarter and looks to future new development as the last historic building to undergo renovation is completed.

A Productive Partnership

Wake Forest School of Medicine and Wexford Science & Technology

Though the roots of the Innovation Quarter lie with Wake Forest School of Medicine, it has found a real estate and development partner in Wexford Science & Technology that shares the same passion for collaboration, connectivity and community.

By partnering with universities, academic medical centers and research institutions, Wexford specializes in knowledge communities: vibrant, mixed-use, amenity-rich urban developments built on a foundation of research, discovery and entrepreneurial activity. Wexford stays with its partners through the formation, development and growth of these communities.

Together, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Wexford have shaped the evolution of the Innovation Quarter and set it on the path toward what it is becoming—a high-tech ecosystem that serves business, academic and societal needs.

Bailey Power Plant at night Bailey Power Plant at night

Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem is emerging as one of the most distinctive innovation districts in the U.S.

Bruce Katz Author of The Rise of Innovation Districts
Innovation Quarter is one of the latest incarnations of creativity, collaboration and cooperation in Winston-Salem.

A View of Today

Creating a thriving and inclusive ecosystem

Innovation Quarter leverages the unique environment of its downtown location to create an inviting, collaborative hub of innovators who explore personal and professional ambitions against an urban backdrop of a culturally varied and creatively rich community.

With a goal of bringing together multiple facets of Winston-Salem and the Piedmont Triad at-large, Innovation Quarter creates an inclusive environment that welcomes all citizens, encourages them to think innovatively and provides the resources to help bring their creative ideas to life.

Innovation doesn’t happen in isolation. Creating proximity through shared spaces and diverse business clusters, we foster an intentional system where both individuals and companies can thrive—a nexus ripe for collaboration. It’s a culture where start-ups partner with global businesses and an academic enterprise finds synergy with a tech company.

Additionally, we recognize creativity doesn’t happen on an empty stomach. The Innovation Quarter is home to restaurants, bars and cafés, as well as specialty shops, and other retail stores to round out your experience. We also host a variety of events and programs to make sure your mind is well-fed, too. Anything you need to create community—find it here.


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Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

Innovation Quarter
575 N. Patterson Ave., Suite 550 Winston-Salem, NC 27101
+1 336.716.8672