The 1911 Wachovia Building And DTWS Redevelopment

The 1911 Wachovia Building on West Third Street is getting a facelift. The forgotten Wachovia Building on West First Street is the first of three skyscrapers Wachovia Bank built in our city. It is being converted from an office building into another luxury apartment building.

Architecturally, the often-overlooked Wachovia Building on West Third is notable for what it is not. It doesn’t look like “the fancy box the Reynolds Building came in,” a popular description of the 1966 Wachovia Building. And it doesn’t look like a massive granite penis, which is what the 2008 Wachovia Building undoubtedly resembles.

The 1911 Wachovia Building, one of Winston’s early skyscrapers, is a reminder of a time when Winston-Salem/Forsyth County was “on the march.” It represents the city’s heyday. Two years after the Wachovia Building’s completion, Winston and Salem merged in 1913, the same year RJ Reynolds launched Camel cigarettes, a deadly product that propelled Wachovia Bank’s growth from a local bank to a regional powerhouse.

8 West Third Street Local Historic Landmark Designation Application

The 1911 Wachovia Building is a monument to predominantly White wealth (often produced by Black labor). It’s a reminder of Winston-Salem’s grand, old days, “between 1915 and 1930 it was the largest city in North Carolina.” For a time, WSNC was the largest city between D.C. and Atlanta. Now we can’t get a headlining band to stop in our fair city.

One hundred years later, Winston-Salem is a farm team of Charlotte, a mid-sized city far removed from the big leagues. Today, the 1911 Wachovia Building is a sad reminder that Downtown Winston-Salem is a collection of overpriced luxury apartments and hotels controlled by out-of-state capital. That being the case, the question is, why have local taxpayers spent the last two decades subsidizing downtown development?

The Winston-Salem Journal’s Richard Craver reported in 2021 that PMC, based in Philadelphia, paid $3 million for the 1911 Wachovia Building. PMC also owns the RJ Reynolds Building, the Nissen Building, and 757 North. While the public has gotten some free summer concerts, it’s PMC who have cashed in on Allen Joines’ downtown revitalization project.


“The Wachovia Building represents PMC’s fourth purchase of a downtown property. In June 2014, PMC paid $7.8 million for the iconic Reynolds building, then spent $60 million overall to convert it into a mixed-use building that includes The Kimpton Cardinal, which has 174 guest rooms and 35 suites on six floors.

The Residences @ the R.J. Reynolds Building debuted in March 2016 with 134 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the seventh through 19th floors of the “Grand Old Lady.”

In February 2019, a PMC affiliate paid $15.5 million to buy the 757 North apartment community at 757 N. Chestnut St. within Innovation Quarter.

In April 2020, PMC paid $30.25 million to purchase the 18-story Nissen Building at 310 W. Fourth St.

Altogether, PMC has spent more than $116 million on downtown Winston-Salem properties and renovations.”

-Historic Wachovia Building sold to owner of former Reynolds headquarters
Richard Craver. Dec 8, 2021


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