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Historic Wachovia Building sold to owner of former Reynolds headquarters
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Historic Wachovia Building sold to owner of former Reynolds headquarters

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WACHOVIA BUILDING

The former Wachovia headquarters building at 8 West 3rd St. was the third high-rise steel building built in North Carolina.

The owner of the former headquarters of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has a fourth downtown Winston-Salem building in its portfolio with the addition of the Historic Wachovia Building at 8 West Third St.

PMC Property Group Inc., based in Philadelphia, paid $3 million for the nine-story, 90,000-square-foot building.

An affiliate of JDL Castle Corp., Wachovia House Inc., was the seller. The sale was completed Tuesday.

The building was designed by architect Frank Pierce Milburn and served as North Carolina’s first “skyscraper” and Wachovia Bank and Trust Co.’s headquarters from 1911 to 1966.

A PMC representative said Wednesday the group is not ready to reveal its plans for the building outside it would be branded as “8 W 3.”

A new parking deck is being constructed across the street from the building with 550 spaces.

According to a CBRE-Triad marketing flier, the property qualifies for historic preservation tax credits and is placed in an opportunity zone. It said a Part II historic application has been accepted by the National Park Service.

“A truly iconic presence in Winston-Salem, 8 West Third Street remembers its history yet looks forward to contributing to the continued revitalization of the city’s downtown core,” according to the flier.

“Property size and layout (are) well suited for multi-family, boutique hotel and office development with retail and amenity space on the ground level.”

Opportunity zones are economically distressed census tracts qualified to receive private investments through a new vehicle known as opportunity funds.

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The goal is connecting those tracts with investors and offering tax credits and other tax incentives to get investors involved.

“Its location in an opportunity zone will provide economic subsidies and incentives to improve the overall feasibility of the redevelopment project,” according to the flier.

PMC properties

The Wachovia Building represents PMC’s fourth purchase of a downtown property.

In June 2014, PMC paid $7.8 million for the iconic Reynolds building, then spent $60 million overall to convert it into a mixed-use building that includes The Kimpton Cardinal, which has 174 guest rooms and 35 suites on six floors.

The Residences @ the R.J. Reynolds Building debuted in March 2016 with 134 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the seventh through 19th floors of the “Grand Old Lady.”

In February 2019, a PMC affiliate paid $15.5 million to buy the 757 North apartment community at 757 N. Chestnut St. within Innovation Quarter.

In April 2020, PMC paid $30.25 million to purchase the 18-story Nissen Building at 310 W. Fourth St.

Altogether, PMC has spent more than $116 million on downtown Winston-Salem properties and renovations.

The Nissen Building always has been ahead of its time, a skyscraper built in 1926 and 1927, just before the Reynolds Building in 1929. Nissen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Nissen Building was renovated in 2004-05 into 14,000 square feet of commercial space and nearly 128,000 square feet of residential space in 95 one- and 50 two-bedroom luxury apartments.

Mayor Allen Joines said in April 2020 that “the fact that PMC now owns and operates three properties gives them healthy economies of scale that will allow them to continue to provide quality services.”

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@rcraverWSJ

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