Winston-Salem’s Top Brokers
Charlie Fulk, CCIM & Spencer Bennett, CCIM, Meridian Realty
The Bedrin Organization is proud to present a series of articles featuring the top brokers who have helped create the successful deals and profound relationships that are the backbone of our organization.
In this article, top Commercial Real Estate Brokers, Charlie Fulk and Spencer Bennett of Meridian Realty, walk you through the past and the present of Commercial Real Estate in Winston-Salem, NC.
Q. What’s the main driver of growth in downtown Winston-Salem?
“Growing up in the 1990’s, downtown Winston-Salem used to be quiet. Now it’s a hub for restaurants and technology. There are 25,000 jobs in downtown, but when businesses close for the day, people don’t go home, they come from all over to go out in downtown now.” says Spencer.
Beginning in the 1920’s, downtown Winston-Salem was a haven for industry and manufacturing, pioneered by RJ Reynolds (#1 Tobacco manufacture in the US) and Hanes, (the largest undergarment manufacturer in the US). Over time, as manufacturing transitioned out of the US in the 1980’s downtown Winston-Salem grew quiet… but innovators never stay quiet long. In the early 2000’s a revitalization began, spearheaded by RJ Reynolds, the catalyst for revitalization, when they donated unused industrial plants and offices to Wake Forest University. A new vision for downtown Winston-Salem was born and is now known as, “The Innovation Quarter”. The Innovation Quarter of downtown Winston-Salem has grown to a lively hub for medical, technology, healthcare, and education creating over 25,000 jobs.
With thousands of high level jobs, recruiting top technology companies and numerous educational institutions, downtown Winston-Salem flourished, but when the work day is over, downtown Winston-Salem is just getting started. With quaint, walkable streets, flush with greenways and walkable paths, downtown Winston-Salem has a vibrant restaurant, arts and entertainment scene. With all this fabulous downtown living, naturally the residential population grew. That’s when Meridian Realty brought The Bedrin Organization into downtown Winston-Salem.
Charlie and Spencer presented The Bedrin Organization with The Hilltop House apartment complex deal, an $18 million acquisition of 169 recently renovated apartments in the heart of downtown. What attracted the Bedrins to Hilltop House was that Hilltop was the only value oriented housing option in the sub $1k per month range. This critical housing option supports the local workforce and students who want to live in downtown. With the growth of technology, healthcare and education in downtown, the Bedrin family knew the demand for reasonably priced housing in downtown would grow and the Hilltop House deal would be a smart investment. With the help of Spencer, Charlie, and the Property Management team of Meridian Realty, The Bedrin Organization purchased Hilltop House in 2019. Hilltop was a great diversification to The Bedrin Organization’s portfolio, and the perfect entry into the North Carolina multi-family market.
“As we’ve gotten to know Garret & Mike through doing business together, we feel like we’re family now. They create relationships with everyone they do business with, which creates loyalty and friendship that goes beyond the deal. When we represent the Bedrin Organization in a deal, we protect them like we would be representing our family. That kind of loyalty is what you’ll find working with the Bedrins.”
Thank you Spencer and Charlie and the entire team at Meridian Realty for helping us grow our investments in the North Carolina Triad market. We’ve learned so much from you all and we can’t wait to see how we all grow together in the future.