Planning staff has prepared three reports aimed at assisting the development community and the public to more easily determine which properties in the community are best suited for development. The first is the three-part Development Opportunity Study series which identifies commercial, industrial or multifamily properties suitable for development. The second is the Winston-Salem's Residential Opportunity Areas report which provides a comprehensive summary of existing Residential Opportunity Areas as defined in adopted area plans within the City of Winston-Salem.  The third is the Development Opportunity Study - Phase III (Infill and Redevelopment) which identifies 67 sites for infill or redevelopment within Forsyth County and includes recommendations from adopted area plans for reuse.

Development Opportunity Studies

In March 2017, the City-County Planning and Development Services Department completed Phase III of the Development Opportunity Areas project (see information about Phase I and II below).  This study is a site analysis that identifies 67 sites for infill or redevelopment within Forsyth County and includes recommendations from adopted plans for reuse as commercial, mixed use, industrial, institutional, office and residential development. All sites in this study are located within Growth Management Areas (GMA) 1 (City or Town Centers), 2 (Urban Neighborhoods), or 3 (Suburban Neighborhoods), as identified in the Legacy 2030 Comprehensive Plan.  Sites in GMA 1 or 2 are approximately 2 or more acres; sites in GMA 3 are 3 or more acres.  The 67 sites included in this document were selected by Planning and Development Services staff for suitability based on area plan recommendations and field verification. 

Development Opportunity Areas - Phase III (Infill and Redevelopment) [pdf/44mb/80p]

In January 2014, the City-County Planning and Development Services Department conducted Phase I of the Development Opportunity Areas study, a countywide mapping analysis of properties in Forsyth County that are recommended and zoned for different types of development. A series of maps identifying land that could potentially be developed has been compiled by its suitability for multifamily, commercial or industrial development. Additionally, the properties highlighted:

  • are determined to be vacant or have a building-to-land value low enough that might make it suitable for redevelopment
  • meet varying parcel size qualification that might make them attractive for development
    • Commercial - 0.25-acre minimum lot size
    • Industrial - 5-acre minimum lot size
    • Multifamily Residential - 2-acre minimum lot size

In 2015, Phase II of the Development Opportunity Areas study was completed.  This phase expanded the study by using the same qualifying factors as Phase I and identifying sites that needed to be rezoned but are recommended in area plans for the proposed land use.

Initial data was derived using tax data provided by the Forsyth County Tax Department, Legacy’s proposed land use data, 2014 orthophotography, and current Forsyth County zoning data. Additional site validation and recommendations were made by the City-County Planning and Development Services staff, the Forsyth County Tax Administration staff, and staff representatives from surrounding municipal areas.

Commercial Development
Opportunities Study

Industrial Development
Opportunities Study

Multifamily Development
Opportunities Study

This is a limited study that does not take into account other variables such as topography, slope, access, utilities, soils, ownership, availability, etc. The sites identified in this study also may not be owned by the City of Winston Salem or Forsyth County, nor does the City or County know whether the owners of these properties have the properties available for sale. This study is strictly an assessment of primarily vacant or underdeveloped parcels that have proposed land uses consistent with the adopted comprehensive plan, Legacy, and applicable consistent zoning, while meeting various size thresholds.

Contact Information

Contact , Project Planner, 336-747-7046 with your comments, questions, or suggestions for further product enhancements.

Residential Opportunity Areas

The Winston-Salem Residential Opportunity Areas 2017 Update [pdf/13.7mb/26p] provides an update to the 2014 report on existing Residential Opportunity Areas.  Residential Opportunity Areas are sites within the central city area of Winston-Salem that are typically larger than 2.5 acres that are appropriate for residential infill and rehabilitation/redevelopment for residential use, or a combination of infill and rehabilitation/redevelopment. Residential Opportunity Areas increase market efficiencies and identify areas of potential economic benefits to residential and commercial developers. They also aid in infill development, potential redevelopment and sprawl management; and, serve as tools in guiding good development practices.

There are 24 Residential Opportunity Area sites scattered across the six central city neighborhood planning areas (North Central, East/Northeast, Southeast, South Central, Southwest, and Northwest) comprising a collective total of 261 acres of land. This report contains all Residential Opportunity Area recommendations, mapping, and data broken down by area plan, as well as a summary map and table compiling all of the sites.

Contact Information

Contact 336-747-7046 with comments or questions.

Revised 4/6/2017

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