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9 Exciting Durham Developments

These days, it seems like you can't walk more than a block in Downtown Durham or down Ninth Street without seeing something under construction or renovation. It gives the city a sense of vibrancy and an air of revival. Below are nine notable projects that are bringing exciting new things to Durham:

1. American Tobacco Expansion

Scott Howell, chef and owner of the popular restaurants Nana's and NanaTaco, will open a new restaurant called NanaSteak next to the Aloft Hotel in 2016. Next door, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park's Bull Durham Beer Co. will open a year-round taproom that will be accessible to the public during the Bulls off-season.

2. Four Adaptive Reuse Hotels

2015 saw the opening of several new hotels in Downtown Durham - 21c Museum Hotel, Aloft, The Durham Hotel, Residence Inn - and that list continues to grow.

Austin Lawrence Partners is redeveloping the Jack Tar Motel on Corcoran Street. The developer plans to turn the former motel into a hip, modern hotel with lower room rates. Plans include restoring the parking deck, pool deck, and ground floor retail. A 2016 opening is planned.

The Graduate Hotel Durham will open near American Tobacco and will renovate a former hotel property at 600 Willard St. The hotel is slated to have 150 guest rooms and 7,000 square feet of flexible event space when it opens, along with an outdoor pool, fitness center, and a bike program. A 2016 opening is planned.

3. Liberty Warehouse Redevelopment

Construction continues at the former Liberty Warehouse in downtown's Central Park District. The project by East West Partners includes the construction of 246 apartments, ground-floor retail shops, a parking deck, and several interior courtyards. The historic signage and brick from Liberty Warehouse will be preserved and used in the new construction. The project is set to be completed in spring 2016.  

4. Restaurants Opening

2016 will bring two new projects from Durham Chef Matthew Kelly (Mateo, Vin Rouge). Kelly and partner Josh DeCarolis will open Mothers and Sons, an Italian trattoria next to Mateo bar de Tapas. The same building will also house Lucky's Deli, a delicatessen with Jewish and Italian influences.

Also in 2016, Rise Biscuits and Donuts will make its downtown Durham debut on Foster Street. The popular biscuit and donut shop started in south Durham, but will be opening up a new location.

Chef/owner Gray Brooks of Pizzeria Toro will open two new restaurants next year. The first will be a diner in the Jack Tar Hotel and the second will be a dinner-only restaurant on Parrish Street.

In early 2016 Cocoa Cinnamon West will open the doors of its second Durham location at Hillsborough Road and Trent Drive. The popular coffee shop is known for its unique flavor combinations using coffees, teas, spices, and chocolates.

5. City Center Redevelopment

Austin Lawrence Partners plans to construct a $40 million, 26-story, 424,000-square-foot high-rise at the former Woolworth's site between Parrish and Main Streets. The building will house about 21,000 square feet of street-level retail space; interior parking on floors two and three; 62,000 square feet of office space on floors three, four, and five; and a stepped-back tower accommodating 130 to 134 apartments - the top six floors of which would have units between 1,750 and 2,400 square feet.

Additionally, 400 W. Main St. will be redeveloped into a mixed-use complex called Five Points Center. The center will contain retail shops, office space with entrepreneurial incubator space, residential units (both apartments and condos), and a grocery store and urban food plaza. Plans also call for a parking garage. Ground-breaking is planned for late 2016.

6. Ninth Street Expansion 

This project will provide 10,000 square feet of space for shops and restaurants and 222,006 square feet of apartments on about 2.7 acres. The project will be six stories, but will descend in height heading toward Green Street. It would have an internal parking deck and a dining terrace on Green Street. The project is being developed by Glenn Dickson and Charlotte-based Terwilliger Pappas.

7. Durham Will Soon Have Five Distilleries!

Tyler Huntington, the founder of Tyler's Restaurant & Taproom plans to open Two Doors Distilling Co. inside of The Rickhouse, an event space that overlooks the Historic Durham Athletic Park. It will be a 4,000-square-foot distillery and will make various distilled spirits.

The distillery joins Barrister & Brewer, Brothers Vilgalys Spirits Company, Durham Distillery, and Pebble Brooks Spirits in representing Durham on the North Carolina Craft Distillers Trail.

8. Durham Innovation District

Longfellow Real Estate Partners, in collaboration with Duke University and Measurement Inc., will develop a new urban cluster called the Durham Innovation District that will house life science and technology companies in Downtown Durham. There is 1.7 million square feet of flexible work, lab, and mixed-use space on 15 acres bordered by Morris, Liggett, and Fernway Streets.

Additionally, Wexford Science and Technology is currently renovating the former Chesterfield Building at 701 W. Main St. The building will be a 284,000-square-foot adaptive building that will feature office, retail and lab space for science and technology companies. The building will have an atrium in the center and ground floor retail. 

9. Moogfest Comes to Durham

In 2016 Durham will add Moogfest to its lineup of major events. The music festival will bring four days of electronic music, art, and technology to Downtown Durham, beginning May 19-22, 2016. Headliners include Gary Numan, GZA, and Laurie Anderson.

This list is just a glimpse into some exciting new developments, but there's more going on in Durham than just what's happening in downtown. Visit the new visitor developments page for more information on upcoming projects like new lodging properties coming online in the western corridor of Durham, an outdoor expansion to the Museum of Life + Science coming in 2017, and much more! Wherever you are in Durham, there are new projects to get excited about.

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