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Wake Forest to be dropped from name of Innovation Quarter

The Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem has decided it is ready to stand on its own, dropping Wake Forest from its name.

The 1.2-million-square-foot research park is governed by Wake Forest School of Medicine under the auspices of the university.

However, university officials stressed financial and infrastructure commitments will not shrink.

“We are excited about the future of Innovation Quarter and Wake Forest’s presence there,” university President Nathan Hatch said in a statement Thursday.

“Nothing about the new branding changes the commitments that Wake Forest has made to downtown Winston-Salem.”

Innovation Quarter, with an overall workforce of more than 3,400, has been ranked by Preservation NC as the largest historic redevelopment project of its kind in the state as well as among the largest involving major innovation districts in the country.

Counting the $65 million Bailey Power Plant renovations, the Link Apartments mixed-use project, $106 million Wake Forest BioTech Place, $75 million Inmar Inc. headquarters, and $60 million Plant 64 apartment complex, there has been more than $300 million in capital investment within the research park in the past 10 years.

“The Innovation Quarter name simply is a better reflection of the diversity of businesses, institutions and people that have become part of the district,” Hatch said.

The brand change reflects “an intentional self-assessment of where we are and where we want to go,” said Graydon Pleasants, head of real estate development for Innovation Quarter.

“The change is reflective of that introspection.”

New name ‘distinctive’

Innovation Quarter officials said they are confident the shorter name will be distinctive among research parks.

The university filed a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for Innovation Quarter in December 2015, which was approved in September 2017.

A trademark request for Wake Forest Innovation Quarter was submitted in February 2013 and approved in June 2014.

“It was not necessarily the intent to affect a brand change with the filing of the Innovation Quarter trademark, but it just made sense to register both monikers,” said James Patterson, marketing and communications director for Innovation Quarter.

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The marketing around the name change emphasizes Innovation Quarter providing a “pathway to innovation ... where anyone can find their spot to live, work, learn or play.” Local design firm Elephant in the Room assisted with developing the new branding.

The university played a founding role with Piedmont Triad Research Park in the early 1990s, as civic, elected and other local officials responded to waves of job losses in banking and textile and tobacco manufacturing.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center officials said in 2013 the change to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter was designed to distinguish the research park from Research Triangle Park.

By adding a recognized brand in Wake Forest, the hope was that the district would gain more external recognition for its emphasis on mixed-use, collaborative space, featuring retail and residential alongside recreational green space and community programming.

On Thursday, the university said trimming the brand to Innovation Quarter “better reflects the diversity of the companies, institutions, students and people living, working, learning and playing here.”

More than 1,100 employees from the university and medical center work in Innovation Quarter, along with Inmar Inc. having the largest private-sector employment base at about 950 in downtown and Rural Hall.

There also are more than 1,800 degree-seeking students between the School of Medicine and Wake Downtown, the university’s undergraduate presence.

More than 90 independent companies have operations in Innovation Quarter, along with Winston-Salem State University, Forsyth Technical Community College and UNC School of the Arts.

“The branding changes afford these institutions the ability to more easily embrace the name within their brands in an effort to continue to form collaborative partnerships,” the university said.

Atrium, Wake Forest deal

Wake Forest’s pledge to Innovation Quarter may be reassuring to the local community given the university, its health-care system and Atrium Health of Charlotte are preparing to unveil a partnership.

The groups have told bondholders they plan to disclose details by March 31.

The official message since the not-for-profits’ April 10 memorandum of understanding announcement is they are jointly “creating a next-generation academic health-care system” headlined by a Charlotte medical school campus debuting in 2021 or 2022.

Atrium management and board of commissioners, as well as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority’s board of advisers, toured Innovation Quarter facilities on Aug. 14 as part of their due diligence for the partnership.

Business North Carolina reported Wednesday that Eugene Woods, Atrium’s chief executive, said at its board meeting Tuesday that the not-for-profits now expect the Federal Trade Commission to make a decision by mid-2020 about whether it will approve the partnership.

“While the name is simplified to reflect an increasingly broad, inclusive and diverse number of tenants and institutions, our commitment to Innovation Quarter’s mission of driving economic growth and building vibrant community remains unchanged,” said Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, chief executive of Wake Forest Baptist and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Three-pronged initiative

Innovation Quarter officials said the branding represents the first of a three-pronged initiative that includes developing innovation sectors within the district, and placing a “deeper focus” on the attributes of successful global innovation districts.

In June, the Innovation Quarter was selected as an inaugural member of the Global Institute on Innovation Districts — one of six chosen to serve on its initial steering committee. It joined Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Melbourne, Australia, New York, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

The overarching goal is “offering new insights on how successful innovation districts are organizing themselves to forge ahead and to establish a formal network-based organization to support the growth and impact of innovation districts around the world.”

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter was selected in part because of its “unique governance model, its partnership with local and state government entities and its work with developers, like Wexford Science + Technology, in leveraging historic (rehabilitation) tax credits to bring about adaptive reuse of historic structures.”

The branding change also is designed to “reflect the vibrancy of everything going on here currently — startups, concerts, major scientific research, food trucks, entrepreneurship — while also having an eye for the deep history and architectural identity that has existed here for decades,” said James Patterson, director of marketing and communications for Innovation Quarter.

Mark Owens, president and chief executive of Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, said downsizing the branding of Innovation Quarter “is the perfect visual representation of those collaborative ideas.”


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Send Trump 'back to Mar-a-Lago permanently,' Michael Bloomberg says in Winston-Salem stop (copy)

Flanked by an overflow crowd jammed into Footnote Coffee & Cocktails, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg brought his singular message to the Triad: That he’s the man to beat President Donald Trump.

“He’s a con man and he deserves to go,” Bloomberg said to the loud cheers of the crowd of 300 people sitting and standing in and around the small café in downtown Winston-Salem.

A former New York City mayor, Bloomberg said: “I’m going to take the fight to him. He’s a bully, but he’s a bully from New York.”

Bloomberg, who has waged a campaign based largely on advertising aimed at states holding March 3 primaries, took the stage early Thursday morning to the sound of U2’s “Beautiful Day.”

“We’re waging a campaign for change, a campaign for honesty, a campaign for compassion and a campaign for human decency,” he said. “It means sending Trump back to Mar-a-Lago permanently.”

Between lines designed to draw cheers from his supporters, Bloomberg laid out a list of goals he hopes will set him apart from the fragmented field of Democratic hopefuls headed into the North Carolina primary.

He said the foundations of his campaign are: restoring health care to uninsured Americans, addressing gun-control issues, curbing climate change, improving social inequality, growing jobs, creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and support for a woman’s right to choose an abortion.

“We can do it,” he said. “Why? Because unlike other candidates I don’t just talk about things, I have a record of reaching across the aisle.”

“Being mayor is a management job,” he said, “being president is a management job.”

He said while mayor, he managed to bring more health-care options to New Yorkers, raised teacher salaries, reduced the city’s carbon footprint to fight climate change, built a coalition to pass gun-control laws and he said he’ll pursue the same goals as president.

He became mayor after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the city was in “tatters,” he said.

During his administration, Bloomberg said, New York added 500,000 new jobs, built 175,000 units of affordable housing and attracted 25 hotels to the decimated area of lower Manhattan.

“We all want to live in a place we’re proud of and go outside and enjoy it,” he said, whether it’s New York or Winston-Salem.

After his talk in the main bar area, Bloomberg worked his way through a kitchen area to the more than 100 people who had waited in the rain on 4th Street but were unable to get to where he was speaking. With a handheld microphone, he delivered a similar message.

He soon left Winston-Salem and headed for events in Greensboro and Raleigh.

Bloomberg served as mayor of New York City from 2002 through 2013.

A High Point University poll released Wednesday said that Bloomberg is ranked third in North Carolina among likely Democratic voters for the March 3 primary with 16% saying they prefer him. Former Vice President Joe Biden leads among likely voters with 24%, and Sen. Bernie Sanders comes in second with 20%.

Bloomberg, who founded business-information and news service Bloomberg LP in 1981, is now the eighth-wealthiest American with a net worth of $62 billion as of Wednesday, according to Forbes.

Forbes reported that he has donated $8 billion to gun control, climate change and other causes.

Bloomberg is betting his substantial resources on primaries that come in the later stages of the campaign without entering any contests before Super Tuesday, March 3. Super Tuesday includes 14 state primaries, including North Carolina, Texas and California, American Samoa and Democrats Abroad.

The Associated Press reported that Bloomberg has already spent more than $300 million on TV, radio and digital advertising, according to the ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics. His campaign told the news service earlier this week that he plans to double his spending in the coming weeks.

The AP said he has flooded TV, Facebook and Google with advertising that has improved his standing, even though he has not appeared in a single debate.

In addition to the new advertising spending, AP reported, Bloomberg’s campaign announced it will also double its number of staff, taking the campaign’s headcount to 2,100.

His campaign told AP that he will have 125 offices by the week’s end and staffers in 40 states and territories, including 450 workers in the battlegrounds of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida and Michigan.

Bloomberg was a Democrat before he ran for the mayor’s office in New York, changing his affiliation to Republican for the election.

The New York Times reported that he registered as an independent midway through his time at City Hall. In 2016, he spoke in support of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. In 2018, he officially returned to the party.


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In one-on-one interview during Winston-Salem stop, Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg talks unifying party, former support of 'stop-and-frisk' policing, people’s desire for change, honesty

Mike Bloomberg is third in the polls for the Democratic presidential primary in North Carolina behind former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. But he is keeping his eye on the top of the Republican ticket and running against President Donald Trump even while facing a Democratic field still in a state of disarray.

In a one-on-one interview in Winston-Salem on Thursday he said his combination of saturation TV advertising — he has spent at least $300 million of his own money in advance of the Super Tuesday primaries on March 3, including North Carolina’s — and an accelerating travel schedule crisscrossing the South, will get his message out in time.

And it’s laser-focused: He believes he is the only Democratic candidate who can ultimately beat Trump.

He is careful not to name his Democratic opponents, but he is clearly aiming at Sanders, whose sweeping proposals call for Medicare for all and free tuition to public universities.

Bloomberg preaches a more moderate program to insure Americans and expand prosperity without broad government programs to do so.

In the interview, he discussed the controversy over his support of “stop-and-frisk” policing when he was the mayor of New York and which has angered many in minority communities. He has since apologized for the policy.

Here is a transcript of Thursday’s 10-minute interview, lightly edited for brevity.

Q: How do you create a coalition and win in such a diverse state as North Carolina with so many distinct rural and urban areas?

Answer: You do it the traditional ways. You advertise on television. It’s still the mass way to get to people. You advertise in print. But mainly in print you want to write stories. People still read newspapers and the other journalists get their news from newspapers. So what you see on television may very well have come from newspapers.

You get surrogates who will go out and say, “I like this guy, here’s what he did, you should vote for him, I’m going to vote for him.” That sort of thing.

You do events like this.

Something’s happening. There’s a momentum here. And it’s true all across the country. Everyplace we go now, every room gets overfull. Yesterday we had 200 people standing in the rain. Why? Because the overflow room with two, three hundred people was full and the main room with 500 was full.

People want change. They want to get rid of Donald Trump and I think they don’t want revolution, they want an evolution. And they want things that are practical, that’ll get through Congress, that we can afford.

Some of the other aspirational stuff’s fine, but it’s never going to happen.

We went through a rebellion against the establishment. That brought in Trump, that brought in (French President) Macron, that was for Brexit, all those things. And I think the next revolution is now they want something that is going to work.

They just want to make sure their kid gets a good education and that they’re safe and they want somebody in the White House that they can say to their kids, “Look, the president doesn’t lie, the president doesn’t do this, you shouldn’t.”

How do you say that to a kid today? It’s a real problem.

Q: You’re doing well in the polls in North Carolina, you’ve come up to third place in a poll released yesterday. Do you expect to advance in the polls between now and Super Tuesday?

Answer: All I can tell you is, we’re working today, we’re doing four cities today, in one day. I can’t work any harder. I have my girlfriend out there going around the country. She’s off to Atlanta this morning and I forget where else she’s going.

We’ve got lots of surrogates, we’ve got lots of endorsements from congresspeople and local officials around the country and around the state of every ethnicity. They all seem to be coming together.

And all my friends are either Tar Heels or Dukies.

Q: You received scrutiny in the past few days about your “stop-and-frisk” (policing) comments from five years ago. There are a lot of minority voters in North Carolina, so how do you think that will play with them?

Answer: I think they’re going to look through that. They look at my record. They know what I’ve done. I was elected and reelected twice in New York City, the most populous, it’s the biggest city in the country.

What I’ve said is, “We had this procedure, it got out of hand, I didn’t realize the effect it was having on young men of color who didn’t have a gun in their pocket.”

But we did bring the murder rate down from 650 to 300 a year and the bottom line is I apologized for it.

I didn’t realize the pain that it was causing. I can’t rewrite history. But I’m going to continue to do what I’m doing, represent everybody. And we have to focus on education and all the things to give people equal opportunity and a lot of that is economic.

Q: Are you coming back to North Carolina?

Answer: We have a lot of other states. When you get to Super Tuesday, this is a state that votes and then in all fairness you’d spend some time in those that vote a week later and those that vote two weeks later. But I’ve been in the state a number of times already.

We have eight offices in the state and 125 people on the payroll here, getting the message out, calling people, knocking on doors, answering questions, that sort of thing, and you’ve got to do it for 50 states.

But I will have gone to all 50 states. People say, “Why do you go to these small states?” I believe if I’m going to unite this country, I’m going to unite all the country.

Q: Do you believe you can be a unifying force for the party and how?

Answer: I don’t think you’re going to get everybody but, yes, I think in the end people are going to realize, look, it’s Bloomberg or Trump, and when you phrase it that way … . People say you’re spending too much money. I say I’m spending it to beat Donald Trump. Oh. OK, do it. Spend more.

I think most people want recognition and respect. Even the protesters, I always walk up to the protesters. “Excuse me. I heard you. I’m Mike Bloomberg. We don’t necessarily have to agree with each other, but I respect you and I respect your right to express yourself. Don’t do it in the middle of my speech and I won’t do it in the middle of your speech.”

But that’s what people really care about. Not 100% of the people. But I think you can pull most of the people together and when the alternative is me or Trump, that helps, but even then, I can say, “Look, I did it in New York City. I respected everybody’s rights. People that wanted to express themselves could.”

I would get calls at 3:30 in the morning. I used to have my telephone number in the phone book for the first four years in office. And once every two months, you’d get a call at 3 o’clock in the morning, somebody intoxicated, and I’d say, “Look, lady. It’s 3 in the morning. Here’s my office number. You call me at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning, I will take that call and answer your question. Good night.” And they called. And they were shocked that I would take the call.

Are you going to get everybody? No. And everybody wants to win. And I understand that. I normally would never mention my opponent’s name. But in the case of Trump, I have no choice.

You heard the cheer. It’s a guaranteed cheer line. It just never fails. And the truth of the matter is he shouldn’t be president. And it isn’t so much his policies, some of which you could agree with, some of which you probably shouldn’t.

But it’s the honesty or lack of honesty and the egotism and nepotism and all these things, it’s just not good government and shouldn’t happen.