RALNATIVE

Durham City Center Tower

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More details and bunches of renderings here - PDF.

 

25000sf retail, 75000sf office, 133 apartments. Retail at ground level, parking on levels B2, B1, 2, and 3, office on 3, 4, and 5, and residential on 5+. All floors through 5 will basically be a podium taking up essentially the entire lot, whereas 6-26 will be the residential tower with significantly smaller floor plates.

 

Wow - this looks REEEALLLY nice. Do these folks have the capital and know-now to get financing and get it done? I sure hope so.

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Wow that presentation is extremely well put together!  I love the vision and the incorporation of the historic facades into the project.

 

My only hangup is their target audience... 133 luxury apartments for Duke students?

 

I also like the splitting up of the parking levels to 2 below grade and 2 above the 1st floor.  Much better than having a mass of 4-5 levels of parking at the base of the structure! 

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Let's hope the NIMBYs don't kill the project, altho honestly how many back yards are there in that block *crossing fingers*

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Let's hope the NIMBYs don't kill the project, altho honestly how many back yards are there in that block *crossing fingers*

 

Why do you mention this?  Have NIMBYs killed other projects?  Which ones?  I'm under the impression that difficulties with financing have killed other projects.

 

(In my opinion, "nimbyism" is an overblown myth regarding urban development.  From my experience, nimbyism mostly applies to suburban development.)

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^I've heard rumors that alot of folks in certain circles in Durham are concerned about the Hill building being overshadowed by a taller building, but thankfully there arent any height restrictions inside the loop. Hopefully there won't be alot of protest against the height of the building.

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That is a nice looking tower and I love how they incorporate the surrounding streetscape into the building's base.  

 

I also agree that the presentation is well put together which is something you would expect to see when such a significant development is proposed.

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Let's hope this is just the tip of the iceberg of center city residential towers and office towers.

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Durham gets too much credit for saving historic buildings. I get the sense they bow to most every economic opportunity and it's mostly whimsical luck of capitalism that got them things like American Tobacco (also Federal tax credits). I appreciate the effort to save the facades...it's certainly good for the street scape....but these spaces will never be able to house a Raleigh Times, Sitti or the like. I take the view that this project will at least bump up the potential for existing landlords to find tenants that can pay a rent  that will support full rehabilitation of entire historic structures still intact downtown. 

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Besides the SECU building in Raleigh, I think this is the second sharpest highrise in the Triangle.

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I think this really points out that non-NC developers have a greater sense of sophistication that lacks locally-sorry to say it but its true. All aspects of this building are far superior to anything I have seen anywhere in NC including Charlotte. It looks great at street level and meshes well with the existing architecture. Raleigh should take note and understand there is more than shoeboxes and phalluses (Charlotte moreso on this one).

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I think that most developers actually cater their designs to local tastes. For example, look at the lack of variation in building materials (i.e. red brick, stucco) throughout the years. As Raleigh continues to become more sophisticated, I have a feeling that we'll start to see and evolution in design. I've recently noticed some apartment buildings going up in north Raleigh that look very urban and similar to designs that I've seen in cities like Boston and San Francisco.

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Just to recap - this tower proposal itself is not new; what's different from before is that the tower developers are bringing the Jack Tar Motel into the picture as well. The developers are proposing to rehab the modernist Jack Tar into a boutique hotel, and use its parking deck to meet some of the parking requirements for their tower.

Anyway - this is really cool. The tower is obviously a big coup for Durham. I was skeptical of its chances of moving forward, but it's seeming more realistic by the day. June is given as a date for groundbreaking.

The Jack Tar is a really cool building. Plus, it will be a boon to the Durham convention center in terms of adding more nearby hotel rooms. The Mariott has 190 rooms, which isn't really enough for most conventions, and they have struggled to attract some events as a result. The 21c Hotel going into the former SunTrust building plus the Jack Tar mentioned here will add 135 and 74 rooms respectively, more than doubling the number of hotel rooms within a one block radius. Add in the 134 rooms at the Aloft planned for American Tobacco and they're gaining 343 rooms within walking distance.

I hope they can relocate the Jack Tar's parking entrance off of the plaza and onto Chapel Hill street. The plaza has so much potential - it reminds me of Pritchard Park in Asheville. But the big three-lane-wide parking entrance is rather incongruous.

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... 133 luxury apartments for Duke students?...  

 

A significant number of Duke students -- well, actually their parents -- pay full tuition, which is currently $45,620 per year. If they can easily afford that for four years, they can afford luxury apartments too.

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I think that most developers actually cater their designs to local tastes. For example, look at the lack of variation in building materials (i.e. red brick, stucco) throughout the years. As Raleigh continues to become more sophisticated, I have a feeling that we'll start to see and evolution in design. I've recently noticed some apartment buildings going up in north Raleigh that look very urban and similar to designs that I've seen in cities like Boston and San Francisco.

I agree and more or less said the same thing in another thread. I'll go even further and say that unless architecture and general taste in things starts to evolve past the 'carolina frat boy' style then that is a blow to the intellectual depths of the region as disaffected people move away. I hear many variations of 'Raleigh just doesn't it for me'. Downtown Durham, Carboro and perhaps the Raleigh warehouse district are points of hope, but the region as a whole has to do better. Beige and brick is tapped out. 

Edited by Jones_

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This project has received incentives from both the city and the county now, according to this article.

I'm not sure whether financing for this project beyond the incentives is lined up already. I also don't know how to check for permits in Durham. But it sounds to me like this thing is going ahead pretty soon.

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I must admit I was skeptical b/c there have been so many No-Go towers proposed since the big blue building was built but I'm very exciting about this tower! I think it will be a nice addition to downtown.

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