Recommended Posts

The old Ramada Inn turned failed Duke Condo project turned failed boutique hotel by Graduate Hotels, is in the process of being demolished.  It appears everyone has given up at this point on trying to save the bones of this building and it's going to be razed for a 342 unit apartment complex and parking deck.  The design is being handled by CLINE Design on behalf of Alliance Residential out of Charlotte.

News blurb courtesy of the Herald Sun:
http://www.heraldsun.com/news/business/article160321189.html

Map of the site via Google Maps:
https://goo.gl/Z2481p

General site plan which definitely maximizes every inch of their site as opposed to the giant sprawling parking lot currently there:
UDKKGvI.jpg

Link to the current plans pulled from Durham's Land Development Office:
https://www.scribd.com/document/368876990/600-Willard-Apartments

Found this YouTube video of someone that ventured inside before demolition started:

 

Edited by DPK
Added video of an urban explorer before demolition.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Thanks for the pics. Thats about the best you can hope for, for a parcel that is adjacent to an off-ramp. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Durham has done a really nice job with urbanizing that area around the ballpark.  FAR greater success than Raleigh has had with getting anything other than suburban bleeck around 
PNC Arena...

Edited by JeffC
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ Nice shot of the One City Center tower in the distance. 

So when is this going to be imploded?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, KJHburg said:

^^ Nice shot of the One City Center tower in the distance. 

So when is this going to be imploded?

Haha yeah nice catch.  That's the only picture I took that was totally intentional.  My girlfriend and I were walking by and were like "oh that's a perfect angle" so I awkwardly held my camera over the fence and snapped.  Definitely shows just how much One City Center towers above everything.

I need to go back and look at the permits to see if there are any better details on how the main structure is being torn down, but I don't know if this is going to be imploded or if it's going to be picked apart.  The dealership is right across the street and I don't think they'd be all that happy with a giant implosion happening.  That and NC-147 is right behind this as well.

If you look closely at the pictures, all the windows were recently lined with plastic on the inside.  That and the entire side of the building facing the NC-147 offramp has been plastic covered as well.  It makes me wonder if that is an attempt to contain anything inside for an implosion or its just a massive amount of asbestos abatement.

Alternatively there are so many workers on the site right now I could probably just walk up and ask one of them.

Edited by DPK
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder, what percentage of Ramada Inns and Holiday Inns ever built are still standing, and what percentage are still open as hotels. Vacant slabs from tear-downs have become a common sight on the Interstate highways. In particular, the typical 1960 two-floor design with outward-facing rooms is fading fast.

Edited by ctl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/13/2018 at 9:16 AM, ctl said:

I wonder, what percentage of Ramada Inns and Holiday Inns ever built are still standing, and what percentage are still open as hotels. Vacant slabs from tear-downs have become a common sight on the Interstate highways. In particular, the typical 1960 two-floor design with outward-facing rooms is fading fast.

Two recent thoughts I had recently, sort of related to your post...one is that those two road-side motorlodges on Wake Forest Rd...Gables and the other concrete block one, are pretty cool reminders of what US 1 life was like in say, the 1920's to the early 1950's. I am glad there is still some wistful love for those places and a handful are hanging on, often along corridors that no longer are the major thoroughfares they used to be and two, there is an 70's or 80's vintage hotel facing Captial Blvd near Westinghouse Blvd, that has been vacant for 6-8 years now...I think it had previous lives as a Holiday Inn and a Days Inn maybe? Anyway, it looks just like the Durham Ramada that was just torn down...something about that style really was eastern-bloc and extra crappy looking to me and right now I am happy to see them all torn down.  Will hindsight change my opinion? In this case, I am not banking on it. I suppose the point of my reply, is that the exact era and building makeup and location might influence the likelihood that a particular one survived...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

January 16th, 2018

Was too busy today to get any closer views, but did manage an aerial.  Nothing major of note.  Only noticeable changes are increased grading to the South (left in the below picture) of the site and the plastic covering the windows on the entire top floor has been removed.  I'm guessing potential asbestos abatement has been completed on that level now.

B9kO53I.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

January 25th, 2018

Notables from todays aerial photo include what appears to be a retention pond (or some form of large hole in the ground) being graded directly above the Ford sign in the southern corner of the site, adjacent to the construction trailer.  Site grading continues and it appears that abatement has been completed on the majority of floors in the building (plastic tarps on windows are now gone save for the first floor).  Additionally scaffolding has now started to be erected on the far side of the building facing BB&T.

am2KtLm.jpg

Edited by DPK
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

January 26th, 2018

From this past Friday, continued grading can be seen in the southern part of the site inching forward into what was the front parking lot.  Additionally workers were focused on raising scaffolding to the height of the building on the northern part of the site.  I imagine it will soon mimic the look of the southern half, draped in plastic tarps.  Shoutout to one of the workers in the below picture that saw me and had some fun with being photographed way up in the air.

pIDF6Jd.jpg

R0iKpA3.jpg

The below picture is humorous as the worker at the top most corner saw me and yelled down while seemingly performing a reenactment from the bow of the Titanic:

AlzPyCs.jpg

UtEdbii.jpg

Workers were assembly-lining sections of scaffolding up from the lift, over their heads to the worker on the level above them:

mTVDdL8.jpg

All the scrap from the demolished annex/lobby is now gone:

LZSMTH9.jpg

LM4Qrun.jpg

qxvsOR3.jpg

Nothing has really been happening in this back corner of the site, the pool and its removed roof still remains for the moment:

fj3dgbH.jpg

Edited by DPK
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

February 1st, 2018

The scaffolding on the Southern (left in the below picture) side of the site was in the process of being dismantled.  It appears that abatement of that side of the building has been completed and work is ramping up on the far side of the building, with scaffolding being wrapped with plastic tarp.  It appears they are stripping the exterior down to bare concrete and throwing everything into a hazardous tarp-covered dumpster, wrapped in red tape.

Additionally all the windows have been removed from the exterior of the building to the East and West.  What appears to be access to the first floor for bobcats/equipment has been provided by removing part of the wall on the middle of the first floor.  Grading continues further across the front of the building.

gwjrWO0.jpg

wrGBR7L.jpg

YpeMMuA.jpg

E3kpa1I.jpg

3YTpygR.jpg

qeh8Ozl.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

February 2nd, 2018

Not much of note just a day later.  All work appears to be focused on abatement to the North of the site, within the tarp covered scaffolding.  Didn't take any closeup pictures this day, but the interior of the first floor is seeing quite a bit of demo with the new vehicular access in the middle-center of the first floor in the picture below.

The building looks so sad now with its windows being gone these past few days.

TKbvXps.jpg

Edited by DPK
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 1/13/2018 at 9:16 AM, ctl said:

I wonder, what percentage of Ramada Inns and Holiday Inns ever built are still standing, and what percentage are still open as hotels. Vacant slabs from tear-downs have become a common sight on the Interstate highways. In particular, the typical 1960 two-floor design with outward-facing rooms is fading fast.

On 1/16/2018 at 11:38 AM, Jones_ said:

Two recent thoughts I had recently, sort of related to your post...one is that those two road-side motorlodges on Wake Forest Rd...Gables and the other concrete block one, are pretty cool reminders of what US 1 life was like in say, the 1920's to the early 1950's. I am glad there is still some wistful love for those places and a handful are hanging on, often along corridors that no longer are the major thoroughfares they used to be and two, there is an 70's or 80's vintage hotel facing Captial Blvd near Westinghouse Blvd, that has been vacant for 6-8 years now...I think it had previous lives as a Holiday Inn and a Days Inn maybe? Anyway, it looks just like the Durham Ramada that was just torn down...something about that style really was eastern-bloc and extra crappy looking to me and right now I am happy to see them all torn down.  Will hindsight change my opinion? In this case, I am not banking on it. I suppose the point of my reply, is that the exact era and building makeup and location might influence the likelihood that a particular one survived...

There's a Ramada facing I-40/I-85 in Burlington right near exit 143, and another that sits off of I-40 in Greensboro at exit 217.  Both are still open.  In Charlotte, there was a Ramada in the northeast quadrant of I-85 at exit 41, but it closed recently and is now a 'Regal Inn'.  Directly across the interstate from that is an ancient-looking Economy Inn that I'm pretty sure was designed by architects from Soviet Russia.  Somehow, it's still hanging on (the 'WI-FI AVAILABLE' banner on the front of the building must have been worth the investment).  Also in Charlotte is a somewhat large (for a Ramada) Ramada/Clarion Inn on the east side of I-77 at exit 6.

No idea what the percentage of Ramadas still standing is, but I still see a ton of Holiday Inns around the state.  The newer ones are generally branded as 'Holiday Inn Express' though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Most of those cheap outside facing motels are now all cheap motels with no major branding or the lowest level of Choice hotel family,   The Ramada now Regal in Charlotte at Sugar Creek is now a Quality Inn after a renovation.  If you come to the Queen City don;t stay anywhere at that exit stay further north on Harris Blvd or Concord Mills Blvd both which much newer hotels.  

I can;t believe that round Holiday Inn in downtown Raleigh is still open maybe it has been renovated.

Hey @DPK enjoy your photos do take one of the new One City Center tower when you can.  My "office" WeWork is going in there and looking forward to checking into my "office" for the day sometime. 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KJHburg said:

Hey @DPK enjoy your photos do take one of the new One City Center tower when you can.  My "office" WeWork is going in there and looking forward to checking into my "office" for the day sometime. 

I'll see about working that into the rotation.  :) 

The extra steps will do me good anyways.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, KJHburg said:

I can;t believe that round Holiday Inn in downtown Raleigh is still open maybe it has been renovated

 

Clarion renovated it (enclosing the balconies being the obvious exterior change) when they bought it from Holiday Inn first time around. Once downtown started looking like a real money maker again, Holiday Inn wanted back in(and redid the entrance) I guess...I don't really understand how branding vs ownership groups works...could be same owners slapping a different name on it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ Yes the same owner can and does change franchise names but usually the higher up the chain or brand you go the more renovations  you would have to do.  That Holiday Inn downtown is really in a great location.   I have seen the same brand jump around a couple places in a very small area going newer  buildings each time.   All the brands and the sub-brands within their group have min. standards and sometimes a Courtyard can fall to a Fairfield Inn by Marriott because renovations are not done.  

This hotel in downtown Durham is typical of what was built in the 1960s 1970s and without extensive renovations it is cheaper to tear down since they usually had large surface parking lots. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes the franchisor of a new brand will help fund the improvements needed to meet the new brand's standards. This is one reason why some hotel owners churn brands, especially if the hotel is a by-the-interstate location that isn't likely to build a recurring customer base that might be put off by the churn.

Many of the HI Express locations were built after the industry decided that rooms opening to the exterior of the hotel were undesirable. The first Hamptons and Fairfields had exterior-facing rooms, but I believe all those have  been kicked out of the systems now. (For a while, the paper Hampton directories had an "E" or an "I"). Women traveling on business, single moms traveling alone, etc became a very large part of the market and are perceived to strongly prefer rooms that open to interior hallways. Interior-opening rooms are also perceived as minimizing crime, given that some motels have become magnets for drug manufacture and dealing. And interior-opening rooms provide more inspection of who comes down to the lobby for free coffee or breakfast. This change in the market left most of the 1955-1980 Holidays, Ramadas, etc out in the cold. But the DTR Holiday is one of the exceptions.  

Edited by ctl
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ I stayed in a Hampton Inn in Monroe LA and when I made the reservation they said in big letters EXTERIOR corridors to warn me as most are not like this anymore.  (It was fine and I stayed there as it was cheaper than the West Monroe LA location)  Fairfield by Marriott used to have those exterior corridors and they dumped everyone of them in Charlotte and built new ones with interior corridors  (existing ones because other cheaper brands) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

February 7th, 2018

Building is increasingly becoming a shell of its former self.  Exterior walls are coming down on the East and West sides of the building.   Trees/planters that were directly in front of the building have been removed.  That and continued abatement of the walls on the North end of the site appear to be the majority of the work taking place right now.

kRd8XYr.jpg

When the gate is open, this guy is always parked here sitting in his truck keeping a watchful eye on things.  He's been here every day since before the fencing went up:

Jdz9USG.jpg

MsJ3cGX.jpg

39p0Lmd.jpg

Quick shot showing the "clean room" tent on the North side of the site:

1K48X68.jpg

Buh7LOM.jpg

P5tVxrG.jpg

RPfDxNp.jpg

Debris piled up in the narrow area between the building and former pool area:

lHFkumm.jpg

BuEUx9q.jpg

Edited by DPK
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2018 at 8:05 PM, DPK said:

I'll see about working that into the rotation.  :) 

The extra steps will do me good anyways.

@KJHburg I also didn't forget your request, check out some updates shots of One City Center here:

:)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

February 8th, 2018

Nothing overly notable today outside of an increase in exterior wall removal on the East and West sides of the building.

eENTeIn.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By 23320
      Armada Hoffler proposing land swap for City Hall relocation to Town Center
    • By smileguy
      Bunglaower reports a 13-story multi-family residential tower is being proposed for 108 E. Livingston Street called Magnolia Rose. 
      The proposed 320 unit development would also include space for six parcels of ground-level retail. The plan, submitted on 4/20, calls for the City to abandon a section of North Rosalind Avenue, which translates to approximately 77,982 SF of right-of-way, to host an adjoined five-story, 395-space parking garage.
      http://bungalower.com/2017/04/25/developer-eyeing-livingston-wedge-potential-residential-tower/
    • By KJHburg
      275 new jobs at Apex Robotics firm
      http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2017/04/13/apex-robotics-firm-plans-hiring-binge-in-upcoming.html?ana=e_ae_set1&s=article_du&ed=2017-04-13&u=oAaDx%2B74FoP4qOJ%2By4AU6dhJPpc&t=1492114409&j=77935151
      Why I chose to move my start up tech company to the Triangle? Read this blog from Map My Customers CEO https://medium.com/@matthewsniff/why-i-moved-our-company-from-the-valley-to-the-triangle-b7d4df06d291
       
    • By BFG
      New apartment complex coming to a six-acre plot of land. Rent will range from about $600-1,000, and eventually single-family homes will be built nearby.
      http://pilotonline.com/inside-business/new-apartment-community-coming-to-campostella/article_562765ba-8d65-545d-940d-d1c589022f23.html
       
      I'm guessing this is right off the Campostella Bridge, across from the Hardee's. There used to be a Farm Fresh there overlooking the water.
    • By BullDurhamer
      http://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2015/06/25/from-death-science-to-life-science-the-chesterfield-building-in-durham