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Apr. 11, 2013

Austin Lawrence to Develop $40M Mixed-Used Tower in Durham’s Historic District

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Historic Preservation Commission has approved the construction of a 26-story mixed-use building in the heart of downtown Durham. According to the NewsObserver, the proposed “City Center” high-rise will include 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail; 70,000 square feet of offices; and 133 luxury apartments on the upper 21 floors.

Austin Lawrence Partners of Colorado is developing the project, which will be located inside the city’s historic central business district, at the former Woolworth’s site between Parrish and Main streets. Last November, the company purchased the site, along with four adjacent buildings which will be incorporated in the new development. Greenfire Development sold the properties for $3 million.

Austin Lawrence President Greg Hills told the newspaper that the cost of the new high-rise would amount to $40 million. Oz Architecture of Denver, DHM Design of Raleigh and Kimley-Horn will be working on the project. Pending further approvals, construction is expected to start in the summer of 2014 and be complete in two years’ time.

In regional news, the Triangle Business Journal reports that the Rams Plaza shopping center in Chapel Hill has recently received its first major upgrade since it was built in 1982. The $1.5 million renovation brought improvements to the building’s facade, courtyard and parking areas.

The retail center is owned by Rams Plaza Associates LLC, a joint venture entity comprised of three investors from Charlotte, New York and Florida. Finley Design Architecture + Interiors was the architect of the renovation project.

In 2011, The Kalikow Group of Westbury, N.Y., Argus Development Group of Charlotte and Carlisle Development Group of Miami acquired the 113,000 square feet property from Madison Marquette of Washington, D.C. for $13.25 million.

The Rams Plaza shopping center is located at 1728 Fordham Blvd. near University Mall and has a 95 percent occupancy rate. The property is anchored by Food Lion and includes Bailey’s Pub, Tire King, Eclipse Tanning and a CVS pharmacy among its tenants.

Photo credits: http://www.alpaspen.com/durham.php