Innovation Quarter announces master plan for phase II of innovation district development

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New phase of development will allow for 1 million square feet of new clinical/office/lab space and 15 acres of urban green space.

Innovation Quarter today announced a new master plan for the second major phase of development in the innovation district. Featuring 10 proposed buildings and 2.7 million total square feet, the new phase of development will feature the same mixed-use, ground-level activation found in the existing district.

The 28-acre site for Innovation Quarter Phase II sits on either side of Research Parkway, the majority south of Third Street and north of Salem Parkway. Upon completion, it is anticipated that the development will allow for an additional 1 million additional square feet of clinical/lab/office space. The Innovation Quarter currently comprises 2.1 million square feet of similar space.

Innovation Quarter anticipates Wexford Science + Technology, a major partner in Phase I and a global leader in developing communities that drive innovation, to play a major role in the final design and development of Phase II. The Innovation Quarter partnered with global design firm Perkins and Will to develop and design the master plan. As with the first phase, a strong public-private partnership with government agencies at the federal, state and local level will be key to realizing this next phase of development.

“For over 20 years, Innovation Quarter has led the way in creating integrated spaces that foster collaboration and creativity,” said Eugene A. Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health. “This new phase of development continues that effort in a way that will allow Atrium Health and Wake Forest School of Medicine to build upon our scientific and innovation capabilities in a rich, blended environment, while creating new connections and partnerships in order to expand these dynamic spaces to Charlotte.”

The new phase is centered around Fogle Commons—a linear park capable of hosting larger-scale activities like musical and arts performances, academic and corporate events, and casual play or recreation. In all, Phase II is anticipated to create 15 acres of new, programmable green space and extend the Long Branch Trail by almost half a mile, connecting it with the Third Street bridge which leads to neighborhoods in east Winston-Salem.

Rendering of proposed Fogle Commons, a linear urban park in the center of the new phase of development.
Rendering of proposed Fogle Commons, a linear urban park in the center of the new phase of development.

The master plan also allows for up to an additional 450 residential units for the growing Innovation Quarter. An additional 30,000 square feet of ground-level activation space—which would include retail/restaurant—will allow the next phase of development to have the same mixed-use atmosphere that helped the Innovation Quarter gain the distinction of “Best Practice for Creating Integrated Places” by the Global Institute on Innovation Districts in 2020.

“This new phase of development will create the same feel and aesthetic found in the Innovation Quarter today,” said Graydon Pleasants, head of development for the Innovation Quarter. “This mix of science and business, recreation and retail, green spaces and residential will bring even more vibrancy to this section of downtown Winston-Salem.”

The new development will feature street-level activation of plazas and retail/restaurant offerings.
The new development will feature street-level activation of plazas and retail/restaurant offerings.

Since 2010, the Innovation Quarter has partnered with Wexford Science + Technology to transform this section of downtown Winston-Salem into a thriving innovation district. Wexford brings expertise in developing what it calls “knowledge communities” that feature major research anchor institutions like the Wake Forest School of Medicine to help spur collaboration.

“Innovation Quarter has become one of the foremost examples of how to create a comprehensive sense of place that integrates university research, academics, entrepreneurial activity, corporate engagement, workforce development, and community inclusion,” said Thomas Osha, Wexford’s Senior Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development.  “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Innovation Quarter and Wake Forest University and expanding this globally recognized innovation district.”

In addition to planning building space, the Innovation Quarter team is working with Perkins and Will to design intentional, activated outdoor spaces that will add to the vibrancy of the new phase, similar to how Bailey Park and the Long Branch Trail provide tenants, visitors and community members with spaces to interact, recreate and relax.

As part of Phase II, the Innovation Quarter is also working with community leaders to increase and strengthen physical links between the district and neighborhoods immediately to the east across U.S. Highway 52.  Connectivity across Highway 52 has long been a challenge and proposed infrastructure—including improved streetscapes, bridge enhancements and potential extension of Long Branch Trail—aims to improve the connectivity between Innovation Quarter and new developments like the Metropolitan Village which was announced in April.

The new phase of development sits on either side of Research Parkway, bounded by East Third Street, U.S. Highway 52 and Salem Parkway.
The new phase of development sits on either side of Research Parkway, bounded by East Third Street, U.S. Highway 52 and Salem Parkway.

“The establishment and growth of the Innovation Quarter over the last 20-plus years has been exciting to watch. This new master plan continues that momentum,” said Winston-Salem city council member Annette Scippio, who represents the East Ward, where the Innovation Quarter is located. “I am encouraged about what this new phase means for the continued vitality of our great city and the jobs and resources it will bring to our community.”

Innovation Quarter is home to the largest historic redevelopment project in the history of the state of North Carolina, according to Preservation NC, a statewide non-profit dedicated to historic preservation. Its 2.1 million existing square feet of office, lab, educational, and community spaces are home to 3,700 people working and more than 1,600 degree-seeking students. Total public-private investment in the district to date is more than $841 million.

“Phase II of Innovation Quarter’s development represents great potential for growing our economy and workforce, both within the district itself and across greater Winston-Salem and Forsyth County,” says Mark Owens, President and CEO of Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. “We continue to see increasing demand in our location, and this exciting announcement will expand our portfolio of available space for companies to locate and grow. When companies and talent consider Winston-Salem they are drawn to the vibrant atmosphere of the downtown core and the Innovation Quarter – the mix of creativity and innovation has become a symbol of Winston-Salem’s identity. This is a city where you can find your spot, and we are certain that many will find theirs in iQ’s Phase II.”