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500 W. Fifth St. (Old GMAC Tower) in DT Winston-Salem


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The transformation of the old 18 story GMAC Tower has been coming on strong recently per the Winston-Salem Journal.  Prominent Business leader Don Flow and Grubb Properties  of Charlotte  partnered up on the project back in 2017 to redevelop the tower and adjacent site into a business center with apartments and retail extending to W. Fourth Street.  The property was purchased for $6.15 million, with a pledge to spend $10 million on upgrades to the building, including a recently completed street level lobby space.

Teall Capital Partners, a private equity firm led by local entrepreneur Ben Sutton,  the founder of sports marketing firm ISP which later became IMG College which is currently located on N. Trade Street Downtown.  Sutton left his chairman emeritus role at IMG College in 2016 to establish Teall which invests in various businesses. Teall is taking over the over 18,000 sq. ft. 12th of the building to serve as a base of operations for their various businesses.  

Also announced recently is that Flywheel, the local provider of co-working innovation and community spaces for startups, consultants and freelancers  that is currently housed in the Center for Design Innovation in the Innovation Quarter  will be taking over the entire 18,035 sq. ft. 8th floor of the building in October, thereby doubling their operational space for their 135 membership entities including non profits, services, educational, corporate and startup companies. The number of employees involved range from 1-16. Their new location will triple their private office count with larger offices, increasing their co-working area by 25%. The startups involved with Flywheel that are expanding and adding jobs include OrbitalRX (software integration for hospital pharmacies);  Leading Role (VR content development platform); Amporgee (operational excellence for production workers); Fluree (blockchain database platform); MedXoom (healthcare payment identify) Threadsketch (cybersecurity); One Donation ( charitable giving platform); and Wellnicity (actionable insights for self insured benefits plans)

Winston Starts, a non profit group that aims to accelerate the growth of startup businesses. It is providing space to 12 tenants on the 4th and 5th floors, taking in 36,000 square feet.  Other tenants previously installed in the building include: Center for Women in Entrepreneurship and Business (Salem College), Center for Private Business (Wake Forest), Kenan Institute (UNC School of the Arts) and Forsyth Country Day School on the 3rd Floor and Grubb Properties  along with a 5,000 sq. ft. fitness center on the 2nd. The Flow Automotive Companies is the anchor tenant, taking in floors  14-18 and about 90,000 sq. ft. of space for its workforce of about 140. 

Plans are advancing forward with the residential portion of the project that will be facing W. Fourth Street. Grubb has worked out a deal with the City of Winston-Salem of having a portion of the units set aside for affordable housing. 

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