500 West 5th Building

The 500 West Fifth Street tower, formerly owned by GMAC Insurance, will be the new home of Teall Capitol Partners, beginning this fall.

Teall Capital Partners, a private-equity firm led by local entrepreneur Ben Sutton Jr., is the latest company to become a tenant in the 500 West Fifth Street tower.

Teall will lease, beginning this fall, about 18,000 square feet in taking the entire 12th floor of the 18-floor downtown Winston-Salem tower once owned by GMAC Insurance.

Local business leader Don Flow and Charlotte-based developer Grubb Properties announced in March 2017 plans to redevelop the tower and an adjacent site extending to Fourth Street into a business center with retail spaces and apartments.

Flow 500 West Fifth LLC spent $6.15 million to buy the property from Slate Winston Holdings Inc., according to Forsyth County Register of Deeds.

Flow has pledged to spend $10 million on upgrades to the building, including a major renovation of the street-level space.

“Teall’s portfolio of growth companies represents the vibrant future that is possible for Winston-Salem,” said Buddy Thomas, director of real estate for the property owner, which is an affiliate of Flow Automotive Cos.

“We are pleased to have their energy and innovation helping animate the ecosystem of 500 W. 5th.”

Sutton is chairman of Teall Investments LLC, which has operations in Winston-Salem, Atlanta and San Francisco.

“Building culture is fundamental to building any successful enterprise,” Sutton said. “We really like Don’s focus on recruiting emerging and developing companies, developing a collaborative and mentoring environment, to essentially create a central cultural tour de force downtown.

“Both our team at Teall Capital and those leading our six portfolio customers are loaded with deep entrepreneurial experience.”

The completion of the $68 million fundraising in September also signaled the closing of the private-equity fund to investment. The fundraising includes an investment from Sutton and other Teall organizers.

Teall’s acquisitions are Accorin, Complex Sports and Entertainment, Dyehard Fan Supply, Riddle & Bloom, Sunshine Beverages and Tailgate Guys.

Sutton has been involved in sports marketing for more than 26 years, founding ISP Sports in Winston-Salem in 1992 with three employees.

In September 2015, Sutton transitioned to chairman emeritus of IMG College before departing in late 2016 to focus his efforts on Teall. He also serves on several corporate boards of directors and is writing a book.

Flow Automotive is the anchor tenant, taking floors 14 to 18 and about 90,000 square feet of space for its workforce of about 140.

Another prominent tenant is Winston Starts, a nonprofit group that aims to accelerate the growth of startup businesses. It is providing space to 12 tenants on the fourth and fifth floors, taking more than 36,000 square feet.

On Tuesday, Flywheel said it is taking the entire eighth floor of the building by October.

The Triad chapter of CBRE is handling the marketing of the building, which primarily consists of the ninth through 11th floors and 13th floor.

The local Flywheel group, founded in September 2014, is a provider of rental networking spaces. It provides a community work space, co-working spaces, for startups, consultants and freelancers.

Its membership was at 135 as of late June, including services, nonprofits, educational, corporate and startup companies. The number of employees at companies range from one to 16.

The move into the 18,035-square-foot space will more than double Flywheel’s space.

Other tenants include: Center for Women in Entrepreneurship and Business (Salem College), Center for Private Business (Wake Forest University), Kenan Institute (UNC School of the Arts) and Forsyth Country Day School on the third floor; and co-developer Grubb on the second floor.

Grubb has taken 2,500 square feet, while 5,000 square feet is being dedicated to a fitness center with men’s and women’s locker rooms for tenants, and the rest for tower management space.

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rcraver@wsjournal.com 336-727-7376 @rcraverWSJ

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