Blue Cross plans for new office space, parking deck at Durham campus

Apr. 28, 2014 @ 06:26 PM

The state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, is looking to build new office space and a parking deck on the campus off University Drive in Durham where it’s planning to centralize its Triangle operations.

The company announced last year its plans to vacate its prominent headquarters building in Chapel Hill, and to move employees to the University Drive complex of office buildings.

The insurer paid $10 million for two buildings in the University Drive campus where it already owned and occupied six buildings.

Work has started to renovate the buildings, according to Lew Borman, a spokesman for the insurer.

Plans filed with Durham City-County Planning show a new, three-story, 72,905-square-foot building between one-story buildings known as University Place Five and University Place Four. They indicate the insurer plans to demolish part of University Place Five in order to build the parking deck.

“It’s a continuing part of our plans to consolidate in the Triangle in Durham,” Borman said in response to questions. “We’ve decided to expand the office buildings last year because of increased staffing needs in large part related to hires involved with the (Affordable Care Act) and company growth.”

The insurer employed about 4,600 in the state at the end of the year, he said.

The insurer has started moving employees from the Chapel Hill office to Durham, he said, but the move is not complete.