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.
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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.
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.