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RJ Reynolds Donated Ex-plant

R.J. Reynolds announced to donate its former manufacturing plant Whitaker Park in Winston-Salem.

The company  expressed it's donating sections of the historical property to the Whitaker Park Development Authority. The non-profit organization will receive roughly 120 acres of commercial and industrial land along with buildings that totals about 1.7 million square feet.

"It's a huge gift,” WPDA President Bob Leak said. “It's one of the largest ever made in North Carolina as I understand it."

The plan is to repurpose the space and further growth in the Twin City.

"I can see a mixed use with some retail and some residential, kind of nicely mixed in with light industrial and distribution, so I think there's going to be a variety of uses,” Leak said.

However, Reynolds will retain some areas of the park.

"We still have some facilities out there that we may use for some storage and some other day to day business operations,” R. J. Reynolds Tobacco spokesperson David Howard said.

Whitaker Park opened in 1961. At the time, it was the world’s largest and most modern cigarette plant. Manufacturing at the plant stopped a few years ago and moved to Tobaccoville.

The first donation is the 70,000-square-foot laboratory. Other properties are expected to transfer over the next 12-24 months.

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