City of Lexington approves moving forward with new Flywheel Coworking location
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES, December 21, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Greenworks of Lexington, an AgTech innovation center being designed and developed by Southern Cross Management in collaboration with Flywheel, passed an important milestone last week with approval by the City of Lexington to move forward with the planned development.
Southern Cross bought the property from the City of Lexington in 2019 and has been evaluating its best and highest use in relation to the overall Depot District in downtown Lexington. Southern Cross anticipates opening the facility in 2022.
The project is a key addition to the District being spearheaded by the City, the reincarnation and reimagination of sites that used to be Lexington Home Brand’s former showroom and Plant 1 which burned to the ground or were severely damaged in a fire two years ago.
The District is envisioned to be a major multi-use development, with a passenger rail depot and a live-work-play combination of residential, retail, light manufacturing, research, and innovation projects.
Workplace Architecture + Design was retained by Southern Cross to prepare design concepts for a 3-story, 64,000 square foot agricultural lab and research facility with a 20,000 square foot Flywheel coworking innovation center for related businesses.
“The depot district is ripe for development,” said Paul Meyer, Principal Architect on the project. “It is full of active neighbors and we hope to build off of this activity with this new development.”
The plans include the demolition of the former Lexington Home Brands showroom located between South Railroad Street and South Salisbury Street, flanked by East Fifth and East Fourth streets.
“Unfortunately, the existing structures a not sound enough for the historic renovation we had planned”, says William Fusselbaugh, managing partner with Southern Cross. “We now have the ability to take a fresh approach to the site and develop a unique concept taking advantage of the site grades and frontages.”
In addition to Flywheel’s innovation center wing, the new design includes a wing for the Agtech center offices and a conference center with demonstration rooms and educational space, connected by a greenhouse.
The largest portion of the facility will be devoted to 24,000 square feet agricultural research labs, including lab space for startups, a vertical grow room facility, a commercial kitchen, advanced processing and extraction equipment, and related research labs.
“What’s so exciting for us”, said Flywheel cofounder Peter Marsh, “is that Greenworks fits so well into the knowledge assets focused on health, wellness, and nutrition within our growing network of innovation centers.”
“This project is a perfect complement to the Cabarrus Center, the third location we have designed and operated. We are opening there in January 2021. That center is developing a strong relationship with the North Carolina Research Center in Kannapolis and its Food Innovation Lab,” he continues. “It’s part of a growing AgTech and HealthTech cluster along the I-85 innovation corridor.”
“The Davidson County Community College is adding an entire AgTech curriculum program” adds William, “which ensures a talent pipeline and opportunities for programming collaboration at Greenworks.”
Flywheel started in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in 2014, where it learned the value of institutional partnerships in the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems and economic development. It recently expanded to 20,000 square feet on the 8th floor of 500 West Fifth in November 2019.
Its second location was the Hub facility in the Lake Norman area, which is now operated by Davidson College. In addition to the Greenworks of Lexington and the Cabarrus Center, Flywheel has two additional locations in development in North and South Carolina, bringing their network total to at least five existing and planned locations by 2022.