WINSTON-SALEM, NC—Cook Medical has announced plans to acquire an old cigarette factory here and convert it into a new medical device manufacturing plant.

Part of the R.J. Reynolds factory built in 1961, the new facility will house Cook Medical’s local workforce of over 650 employees. Cigarette production in the 850,000-square-foot building ended in 2012, and the space was donated to the Whitaker Park Development Authority.

“To turn part of the R.J. Reynolds building into a life-saving and life-changing medical device manufacturing facility is an exciting transformation,” said Barry Slowey, president of Cook Medical’s Winston-Salem location.

According to a report from the Winston-Salem Journal, renovations are slated to begin in late 2019, with operations planned for launch in late 2021 or early 2022.