Real Deals: Slew of projects promise to reshape core of downtown Durham

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Real Deals: Slew of projects promise to reshape core of downtown Durham


For all the attention the ongoing revitalization of downtown Raleigh has drawn in recent years, it’s hard not to think that it will soon be overshadowed by the activity sweeping downtown Durham.

Last week, Austin Lawrence Partners began initial site work on what will be the tallest building in Durham – a 27-story tower at the corner of Corcoran and Main streets that will be a mix of offices, retail shops, apartments and condominiums.

Austin Lawrence expects to have an official groundbreaking for the tower in early April, about the time that it plans to begin work on renovating the adjacent Jack Tar Hotel.

“They’ll almost be going at the same time,” said Greg Hills, Austin Lawrence’s president.

While the Aspen, Colo.-based developer is still working on architectural drawings for the hotel, Hills said the plan is to expand it from 44 to 75 rooms while adding ground-floor retail, a rooftop deck, pool and bar. Hills described the project’s aesthetic as a “boutique, millennial, cool place to go” hotel.

Austin Lawrence has selected an operator for the hotel, but Hills said the company isn’t ready to announce it yet.

Reviving the core

As for the 27-story tower, which is to be built on the former Woolworth’s site, that will include 25,000 square feet of retail, 130,000 square feet of office, 31 condos and 109 apartments. Duke University has already agreed to lease 55,000 square feet of office space in the tower.


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