Winston-Salem developers Hank Perkins and Drew Gerstmyer have opted to not renew their lease with the management team that operates Ziggy’s, the city’s largest music venue and the anchor of the entertainment district at the north end of Trade Street.
A representative of 9th Street Properties LLC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Triad City Beat that the company will not be negotiating a new lease with Ziggy’s Winston Inc. The current lease ends on Feb. 28, 2016.
9th Street Properties LLC is owned by Perkins and Gerstmyer, who are responsible for developing real estate for a host of dining and entertaining-related tenants, including Camel City BBQ Factory, the Famous Toastery and the Big Winston Tobacco Warehouse, which houses Black Mountain Chocolate and Broad Branch Distillery. Ziggy’s, which is located at the corner of Trade and Ninth Streets, marks the northern end of the collection of properties the partners have developed.
Ziggy’s Winston Inc. is owned by Charles Womack, Brad McCauley and Jay Stephens. Womack and McCauley, respectively the publisher and marketing director of Yes Weekly (Disclosure: The editorial team at Triad City Beat was previously employed by Womack at Yes Weekly), went into business with Stephens to launch the resurrected Ziggy’s, which opened in August 2011 with a concert headlined by Codeseven.
The representative of Perkins and Gerstmyer’s company who spoke to Triad City Beat declined to discuss the reason why the company has opted to not extend the lease to Womack, McCauley and Stephens.
Womack said in email on Monday morning that from his understanding 9th Street Properties declined to renew the lease because he and his partners at Ziggy’s got behind on their rent and there was some miscommunication about getting insurance certification to the landlord.
“The late rent was a misunderstanding that our partner, Jay, had with the landlords,” Womack said. “It happened three or four times, but ultimately it is on me for trusting someone else with my credit and reputation. I pay my bills on time and in full. I take debt very seriously.”
The representative of Perkins and Gerstmyer’s company said it’s fair to say that the facility will function as a music venue at some point following the ouster of the current tenants.
“The way it’s open to be leased out, it’s really a moving target,” the representative said. “Nothing’s set.”
For his part, Womack said he is “looking at other options.”
Prior to the opening of the new venue at Trade and Ninth streets in 2011, Stephens operated the original Ziggy’s on Deacon Boulevard near Wake Forest University for 27 years before closing in 2007. The new Ziggy’s retained the original venue’s motto of “Roots, Rock, Reggae,” while also showcasing country, hip-hop and eighties glam nostalgia acts.
Womack said in an email on Monday morning that he feels “sad” and “confused” about the landlords’ decision to not renew the lease.
Stephens said in an email that he had no comment except to say that he is severing his relationship with Womack and McCauley. The intentions are mutual, Womack said.