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State spends $2.5 million to buy downtown Winston-Salem building.

State spends $2.5 million to buy downtown Winston-Salem building.

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The N.C. Transportation Department paid $2.5 million to purchase a five-story building in downtown Winston-Salem as part of the Salem Parkway renovation project.

The property is at 250 W. First St. at the intersection of First and Cherry streets.

The sale was completed Dec. 17, but wasn't filed with the Forsyth County Register of Deeds until Friday.

The sellers were First & Cherry Office Condominium Association Inc., Blue Ridge Ventures, West First Associates LLC and Slate Family Real Estate Co. LLC.

Pat Ivey, the NCDOT division engineer in Forsyth, said Monday the property was purchased as part of a settlement after the department filed for condemnation to acquire it in 2018.

"The property owners had several parking lots in the vicinity, including under the old Liberty Street bridge," Ivey said.

"As part of the Salem Parkway project and the associated multi-use path, we had to acquire the majority of the parking that the tenants of that building used.

"The loss of this parking significantly damaged the current and future use of the building," Ivey said.

Ivey said DOT is reviewing whether there could be an internal use of the building, as well as of potentially disposing of it through a bidding process.

Business 40 shut down on Nov. 17, 2018, and underwent months of demolition and reconstruction before emerging as Salem Parkway on Feb. 2, 2020.

The $100-million renovation was a joint project of Flatiron Constructors Inc., Blythe Development Co. and HDR Engineering.

The new road has longer lanes for getting on and off the highway, higher bridge clearances and other enhancements, including two pedestrian crossings.

It is the third major DOT building purchase for Forsyth transportation projects in the past two years, the other two involving the Northern Beltway.

In December, DOT paid $4.5 million to D-2/Dairio LLC to buy the former Dairi-O property on University Parkway.

DOT officials said in March 2020 that while the path of the Northern Beltway does not pass directly through the Dairi-O site at 6401 University Parkway, work associated with the project required the taking of the site.

Wright Archer, construction engineer for DOT in Forsyth, said the Dairi-O property is needed for a new intersection for University and Old Hollow Road.

In May 2019, DOT spent $1.5 million to purchase a highway right of way from McDonald’s affecting its Rural Hall store.

The right of way is connected to the future Northern Beltway and a planned interchange at N.C. 66 with U.S. 52 and future Interstate 74. The address is 1040 Bethania St.

“The property was needed to widen N.C. 65 as part of the new exchange,” Ivey said. “We could not build the project without it.”

McDonald’s continues operations at the location with access through the shopping center’s driveways.

336-727-7376

@rcraverWSJ

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