Durham County

What’s under construction in downtown Durham? A lot.

Downtown Durham’s skyline changed in 2018, and there’s more to come in 2019.
Downtown Durham’s skyline changed in 2018, and there’s more to come in 2019. Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

As sure as Durham’s mascot is a bull, construction cranes have become part of the downtown skyline. Several new buildings should open this year and more are rapidly rising. With 20 new people moving to Durham every day, new apartments, stores and office space are coming, too.

Here are the major projects underway:

Durham County Administration Building II

Location: 201 E. Main St.

Budget: $47.2 million

Expected completion: August 2018

Highlights: When it opens, it will be called Durham County Administration Building II, but it’s just the old courthouse to people who have lived here awhile. The building is being renovated into more county offices. The ground floor will have two restaurants and community meeting space. Out front on the East Main Street side is a large piece of public art called The Taurus. Reminiscent of bull horns, it was designed by artists David Wilson and Stacy Utley. It is made of polished aluminum.

The old courthouse has been renovated and will reopen this summer as Durham County Administration Building II. The public art on the East Main Street side of the building is called The Taurus. dvaughan@heraldsun.com Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

Durham County Commissioners Chair Wendy Jacobs called the art “a great addition to the building and downtown.” The restaurants haven’t been chosen yet, but Jacobs said they hope they are local businesses that sell food at a price that county workers can afford.

Durham Police Department Headquarters Complex

Location: 602 E. Main St.

Budget: $71.4 million

Expected completion: August 2018

Highlights: More than the headquarters for the Police Department, the complex will include the Durham Emergency Communications Center and a parking deck. The 4.5-acre site borders East Main, Hood and Dillard streets.

The new Durham Police Department headquarters will open in late 2018 on East Main Street. dvaughan@heraldsun.com Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

The Police Department is moving from its old Modernist building on West Chapel Hill Street that once housed an insurance company. That property will be sold by the city, contingent on any future project including some affordable housing.

Main Durham County Library

Location: 300 N. Roxboro St.

Budget: $44.3 million

Inside the major renovation and construction of the Durham County Main Library downtown in July 2018. The library is scheduled to reopen in 2020. dvaughan@heraldsun.com Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

Highlights: The building is in the same location as when it closed in January 2017 for a major renovation. The foundation and structural beams of the old building remain, but the rest will be new. At the center is a large staircase. Library offices, books and other materials have been moved off site to branches and other space during the project. A topping out ceremony with a steel beam signed by county leaders was held this month.

Expected completion: Early 2020

Mangum Street Parking Garage

Location: Intersection of Morgan and Mangum streets.

Budget: $23 million

Expected completion: January 2019

A city-owned mixed use parking garage at Mangum and Morgan streets should be finished in 2019, alleviating some of the parking needs downtown. Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan dvaughan@heraldsun.com

Highlights: Built on a former surface parking lot, the garage near City Hall will have ground floor retail and public art fabric banners.

Those four government building projects are only half of the projects already underway. Here’s what else has brought the cranes, road closures and fencing throughout downtown:

One City Center

Location: 110 Corcoran St.

Highlights: It’s hard to miss the One City Center construction, which towers over downtown. The 27-story building is nearing completion and already leasing out apartments. It will also have office space. Pokeworks restaurant will be on the ground floor, and Bulldega, now on City Hall Plaza, will also move into the building. It was built on what had been an empty lot and adjacent burned-out brick building. The lot was once a Woolworth’s, which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited during one of his several trips to Durham. One City Center is slated to open this fall.

DUR_ 20180105_wework_CAT_02 (2)
The new One City Center, slated for completion in 2018, will house a New York City-based co-working space company, taking up the fourth and fifth floors of the 27-story office and residential tower that has changed Durham’s skyline. Photo taken Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in Durham, NC. Casey Toth ctoth@heraldsun.com

Durham ID

Durham’s “Innovation District,” known as Durham ID, encompasses multiple buildings downtown between West Village and Durham Central Park. It includes a lot of office space with tenants Duke University, Duda Paine Architects, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Measurement Inc. and Beer Durham, as well as plans for residential and retail space. Buildings at 200 and 300 Morris Street will be finished this summer.

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Foster on the Park

Location: 545 Foster St.

Highlights: It’s mostly just a pile of dirt right now, but it’s in a busy location. Foster on the Park apartments will be built next to the Durham Farmers’ Market and across the street from Liberty Warehouse Apartments at Durham Central Park. The City Council was told that Roney Street, a short street that intersects on Corporation Street across from the old Durham Athletic Park, would be a woonerf, which is a street open to multiple modes of travel, like downtown’s Orange Street.

555 Mangum and Van Alen

Location: 555 S. Mangum St. and 511 S. Mangum St.

With construction cranes visible from the Durham Freeway, a new apartment building and a new office tower will change the downtown skyline. The office building is called 555 Mangum at Van Alen, and will be within walking distance from the Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the courthouse. The 11-story office building with retail space will include a rooftop lounge, floor-to-ceiling windows, views of the ballpark, a courtyard and parking garage. It should be finished this fall. Van Alen apartments is a 12-story building that will also feature floor-to-ceiling windows.


Location: 600 Willard St.

Alliance Residential Co. bought the former hotel site on Willard Street and plans to build a “luxury” apartment building called Broadstone.

Apartments are being built at 600 Willard St. in downtown Durham on land that was once a hotel. dvaughan@heraldsun.com Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563; @dawnbvaughan
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