Local Real Estate Is So White…

Our local paper has been pretty thin recently. When the COVID-19 crisis first began the Journal admirably stepped up and churned out some excellent content. Since then, they’ve been publishing mostly banal human interest stories. Rumor is, Lee Enterprises has been furloughing employees at the Journal. Searching the Journal’s pages recently, I stumbled upon an illuminating ad from Leonard, Ryden, Burr.

HAWS Promotes Kevin Cheshire And Looks To Facilitate Sale Of The Skyline Village Apartments

Yesterday, the Winston-Salem Housing Authority named Kevin Cheshire its new executive director. Kevin Cheshire previously served as the Vice President of Real Estate Development and General Counsel at HAWS, where he has been employed since 2013. He replaced Larry Woods, who retired at the end of December. Cheshire told the Journal’s Wesley Young that “the mission of HAWS stays the same: To help individuals move in, up and out of assisted housing.”

Our local housing authority has a shameful history of evicting tenants “out of assisted housing.” Kevin Cheshire is the first white leader of the Winston-Salem Housing Authority in decades.

Crystal Towers Resident Who Was Run Over In The Street Is Determined Not To Get Pushed Out Of Downtown Winston

Last month, a resident of Crystal Towers was hit by a car at the intersection of West Fifth and Spruce. When I learned about the accident on Twitter, I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew who the victim was. The Journal’s Allison Lee Isley’s photo of an empty wheelchair in front of an EMS vehicle confirmed my suspicions. The victim was, in fact, D.D. Watkins, a wheelchair-using friend of mine who was trying to get back to Crystal Towers on a Friday afternoon when an SUV ran her over. I spoke to D.D. while she was recovering at Wake Forest Baptist and again after she returned home to Crystal Towers.

The “East End” Is Beginning To Empty

It’s important that the COMMUNITY in East Winston is not pushed out of the “East End.” Despite a lot of talk about shared prosperity and avoiding gentrification, we now have evidence that existing residents of the “East End” have been displaced without any public accountability. The Garden Court Apartments located between Third and Fourth Street and Woodland and Metropolitan have been completely emptied of their previous tenants. Other apartment buildings nearby have been almost completely emptied as well. Where is the accountability?

Goler Hits The Market

Friday, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that Goler Memorial AME Zion’s property adjacent to the Innovation Quarter was for sale. Goler listed their property at Patterson and Seventh for $3.5 million with Linville Team Partners, the commercial real estate firm that has the Downtown Winston market cornered. $3.5 million is a steep price. Who in Winston besides Wake Forest University could come up with that type of money? Goler Memorial plans to relocate.

Charlottesville: Fascist Thugs Will Assault Black Folks In The Streets, But White Liberals Will Take House And Home

This weekend is the one-year anniversary of Battle of Charlottesville. Everyone reading this article remembers the events of last August in Charlottesville; a college town that will forever be associated with Thomas Jefferson, like Winston-Salem will always be associated with R.J. Reynolds. Gun-toting nazis and fascist white supremacists of various stripes in the streets of Charlottesville were a reminder of how relatively little progress our country has made combatting racism. America is still a violent and racist nation. God bless the Antifa activists that confronted the fascists.

Columbian Heights: Atkins’ Vision Crippled By Highway 52 and I40, Industrial Zoning, And WSSU’s Growth

The New Winston Museum’s “Envisioning Columbian Heights” presentation at Mars Hill Baptist Church Thursday night drew a crowd of 40-50 people. Many of the attendees are longtime residents of East Winston with strong ties to Columbian Heights. They fondly remembered Columbian Heights and proudly recounted their memories of the neighborhood. Columbian Heights is the neighborhood immediately surrounding Winston-Salem State University. It was founded by Simon Green Atkins in the 1890s.

Cheap Rents Are Needed For Artists And Workers To Thrive

Saturday night at the Garage, the Vagabond Saints’ Society played two hours worth of the Velvet Underground’s greatest hits. As usual, the Vagabond Saints’ Society put on a great show, which will surely be memorialized in the Garage’s hallway of posters. The Velvet Underground were a very influential rock band, ahead of their time. They were only fully appreciated years after the band broke up. But the Velvet Underground and other New York bands of the late 1960s and 1970s that followed them might have never existed if it weren’t for cheap rents.

Winston-Salem Honors Another Historical Site That It Failed To Preserve

This afternoon a local historic marker commemorating the 14th Street School was unveiled at 1215 N. Cameron Ave. It’s a warm September day, perfect weather for such a happy occasion. The 14th Street School produced many proud graduates that went on to do many fine things in the community and beyond. Honoring the 14th School is in the same tradition as honoring the African School at Happy Hill, which was honored in May of this year. Both former schools demonstrate the value that Winston’s African American communities have historically placed on education.

Fourth Street Neighborhood Development Is Rejected Again-But Threat Of Gentrification Remains

Monday night’s meeting of the City Council wasn’t too contentious. The two issues that drew the most debate were rules and regulations on accessory dwellings and the rezoning of a property on Fourth Street, near Peters Creek Parkway.Winston’s tiny house policies. I personally am more concerned with issues of development and gentrification. Winston’s accessory dwelling/tiny house policies have received the most coverage from local media. I think Councilmember Clark’s comments on accessory dwellings/tiny houses were insightful.