Gentrification Continues In Winston’s Holly Avenue Neighborhood


The Winston-Salem Journal reported that an apartment renovation project is underway on Holly Avenue. Owner and developer Jeff Zenger is transforming the apartments at 648 Holly Avenue. When the 27-unit building is completed it will be known as “The Livery.” Apartments at the Livery will be equipped with a host of modern amenities, rents will range from $845 to over $900.

The Holly Avenue neighborhood is located between Downtown Winston and West Salem. Developers, such as Mr. Zenger have benefited tremendously since BB&T Ballpark opened six years ago.

Holly Avenue for years has been a neighborhood with an ample supply of low to moderate income housing. But BB&T Ballpark and the development associated with it have transformed the neighborhood. Cheap apartments are being transformed into upscale apartments.

It’s a shame that developers in Winston aren’t building new apartments for the working class. All over downtown all you see is new luxury apartments being built or existing building being converted into luxury apartments. Downtown isn’t for the poor or working class, it’s for affluent.

A more egalitarian Downtown Winston, with Holly Avenue at the center of it was possible. But instead city leaders and developers, working hand in hand have turned Downtown Winston into a bourgeois neighborhood, where the poor aren’t welcomed.

As luxury apartments are proliferating in Winston, let’s not forget that the housing conditions for the poorest of the poor in Winston are perhaps as bad as they’ve ever been. Just read about the slum conditions at Rolling Hills Apartments and the New Hope Manor Apartments, they’re appalling. But you don’t see developers in Winston lining up to build apartments for the poor.

With home ownership rates down and the price of rent up, one has to wonder when the luxury apartment bubble will burst. When the luxury apartment bubble does burst, Downtown Winston will be hit particularly hard.

Biotech was supposed to replace tobacco in Winston. But biotech largely went bust when Targacept failed to bring a successful drug to market. Winston is now a town dominated by developers, led by a mayor bought and paid for by developers.

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