The Winston-Salem City Council rezoned 21 acres along Patterson Avenue from industrial to entertainment use on Monday, although no plans to develop the property were announced.
The properties, owned by Liberty Group LLC and Castle Rock Holdings, are on Patterson Avenue just north of 10th Street near the Beaty Public Safety Training and Support Center. The property rezoned includes an old Thomasville Furniture plant building and a lot of vacant land.
The site has been the setting for a “Kudzu Cross” event in cyclo-cross, a sport held for bicyclists who ride on a rough course with obstacles. The entertainment zoning class that now covers the land will allow cyclo-cross events to continue on the property.
Castle Rock is managed by Hank Perkins and Drew Gerstmyer, who also own the property where The Ramkat entertainment venue sits, and who own the Angelo Brothers building where Wise Man Brewing operates. Liberty Group is managed by Perkins.
The Ramkat, the Winston Cup Museum and Wise Man are all a few blocks away from the newly-rezoned site, which is also near other tracts that have been zoned entertainment in recent years.
In 2012, the city council created the entertainment district classification at the suggestion of Perkins, who said at the time that the new zoning designation could help larger-scale entertainment spots develop.
That’s a theme City-County Planning Director Aaron King sounded when he talked to the city council about the rezoning request.
“It could spur redevelopment in an area that has been underutilized for some time,” King said.
Perkins and Gerstmyer were both present for the rezoning, but stayed mum on any plans they might have for the property. After the meeting was over, both said they were considering what might be done on the site.
City officials said the unoccupied buildings on the property have about 300,000 square feet of space inside.
The rezoned property is in an area with industrial, general business, office and highway-business uses. The Bethesda Center for the Homeless and Crisis Control ministry are to the southwest side of the property. Samaritan Ministries on Northwest Boulevard is on the north side of the site.
The owners of the rezoned lands had an information session in October and invited neighborhood property owners to come and comment. There was no opposition to the rezoning expressed at the meeting, according to Doug Stimmel, an architect who put together the meeting.
Council Member Vivian Burke, whose Northeast Ward includes part of the site, said the area needs help.
“This has been a very dead area for some time,” Burke said. “To bring that alive may make it look better.”
The entertainment zoning class allows for uses as varied as residential, office, indoor and outdoor entertainment and retail.
The vote to rezone the property was unanimous.