WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A brand new, $8 million road is now open in downtown Winston-Salem and it sets the infrastructure for new development within the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
Research Parkway is a .72-mile road that runs north from Rams Drive up to Third Street and connects the central and southern districts of the research park.
The road is a collaboration of efforts and funding from local, state, federal and private investors.
"We had to move a railroad, we had to move power lines through here to get it done, but working with state and others has worked. It's been a long process, but a partnership that creates an opportunity for new investment here," said Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines.
Eric Tomlinson, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter President, said the road and the 240 acres around it represents the next phase of development for the research park.
"On either side of the current portion of Research Parkway is land now that is primed for development. It's been cleared, graded and it's ready for the new phase. We see retail, a hotel of some type, for people coming to visit, mixed use and we do see a further Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center presence here," said Tomlinson.
While there is no set plan for development yet, leaders say they hope to see more research space, residential units included as well.
Along the west side of the road, some railroad tracks that were not moved, will serve as a greenway connector that will eventually connect the entire Innovation Quarter with the Salem Lake series of trails and greenways.
"There is a small town emerging here in the east side of downtown and with this infrastructure now in place it will make an economic difference to the city, no doubt," said Tomlinson.