Cree may start production building construction this summer

May. 11, 2014 @ 05:53 PM

Durham-based Cree Inc., a maker of energy efficient LED lighting, components and chips, could start construction as early as this summer on a production building on a yet-to-be developed project known as the north campus.

The company is expecting to spend about $17.66 million on the construction of a new production building shell at 4300 Silicon Drive, which is adjacent to the company’s existing Durham headquarters, according to a building permit issued in April by the Durham Building and Inspections Department. 
In an email, a spokeswoman said the company is currently permitted for the construction of a 258,000-square-foot flexible use building.
She said it’s to accommodate “future manufacturing and related office space needs.”
She said the address has been anecdotally referred to as the Cree north campus. The company is not currently commenting on project price, the email also said.
“Construction of the shell could begin as early as the summer of 2014, and will take about one year to complete,” the email said. “At this point, there are no hiring plans tied to the project.”
According to an official with the Durham City-County Planning department, the building permit that was issued is connected to a site plan approved back in 2011 for a project known as Cree Silicon North at that site.
Those plans called for, at full build-out, 400,850-square-feet of space with a new manufacturing platform, a sub-manufacturing platform, manufacturing office support, chemical storage and other construction.
Gene Bradham, director of Durham City-County Inspections, said he sees permits issued for construction of building shells when companies are looking to fast-track construction. He said it’s more common with shopping centers. He said companies pull the permit so they can build the exterior and have their tenants follow-up with the build-out of their interior spaces.