Old Tobacco Plant Renovated into Apartments

old tobacco building

What was originally one of the oldest R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Factories, is now a unique and beautiful luxury apartment community. Originally built in 1916 and located in downtown Winston-Salem, the dilapidated tobacco plant consisted of five buildings totaling 422,000 square feet. Undergoing a $54 million redevelopment, this once crumbling building is now a 243 unit campus with over 9,700 square feet of retail space.

Aptly titled Plant 64, a nod to its beginnings, the new design maintains the historical character of the buildings, but also boasts 12 to 15 ft ceilings and high end amenities. Customized windows funded by historic tax credits add to the attractiveness of the property.

“The transformation is astonishing, but it was a tough project to bring to completion,” said Chris Travis, CO of Capstone Building Corporation. “We had to maintain the original use and intent of the windows and maintain the historical integrity (but it was worth it in the end). But the project is neat because it’s historical.”

Considered a historical adaptive reuse development, plant 64 incorporated old machinery and original features into the new modern design of the buildings. Equipment that would have been used in production, such as a scale and a lift shaft, can be found throughout the buildings and the building housing the tenant office has been kept completely intact. Modern upgrades include granite counter tops, hardwood floors, designer touches, a saltwater pool, outdoor theatre, yoga studio, 24-hour fitness center, basketball court, and outdoor kitchen area, just to name a few.

Taking on a project of this nature is never easy, but this is an inventive example of how old buildings can be thoughtfully repurposed into sustainable and vibrant additions to the local community.

Not far away, in Charleston, South Carolina, a similar renovation is taking place. The Cigar Factory originally built in the 1880s as a cotton mill, sat vacant for more than four years until local investors recently purchased the neglected building. Their plans for the 244,000-square-foot property at East Bay and Columbus streets call for a mix of commercial uses, including offices, restaurants, event space and retail stores.

“The purchase of the Cigar Factory by local developers ensures a great future for this building and its superb location, and is reflective of the improvement of our national economy,” Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said. “The mixed-use will provide life and vitality to what has been a vacant property.”

Live Oak Contracting is passionate about redevelopment projects and the endless opportunities they provide developers and communities alike. As a leader in the industry, our highly skilled team of professionals understands the unique challenges that come with renovations and rehabilitation projects.

Call us today to find out how our comprehensive approach can benefit your development project.

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