City Approves Incentives for Mixed-Use High-Rise, Motel Conversion in Downtown Durham

Austin Lawrence Partners of Aspen, Colo. is planning the construction of a 26-story mixed-use tower in the heart of downtown Durham, as well as the renovation of the Jack Tar motel and parking garage on the next block.

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Austin Lawrence Partners of Aspen, Colo. is planning the construction of a 26-story mixed-use tower in the heart of downtown Durham, as well as the renovation of the Jack Tar motel and parking garage on the next block.

The Durham News reports that the City Council has approved a $3.97-million incentive package for the two projects, which entail a total investment of more than $89 million. Under the agreement, the payments would be made over 15 years, once construction is complete.

The new tower will rise on the site of the 117 W. Parrish St. building which burned in 2001. Plans call for a two-level underground parking garage, street-level retail, four floors of office space and 133 apartments.

Construction on the project is expected to begin in October and be complete by the fall of 2016.

Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of the long-closed Jack Tar motel property would bring a 74-room hotel and a parking deck which would be available to the tower’s occupants and the general public.

In other news, a seven-story student apartment building could soon rise on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh.

According to the NewsObserver, the city’s planning commission has recently approved developer Cary Joshi’s plan to convert the Two Guys Pizza restaurant into a mixed-use building with 24 housing units for up to 96 students, and ground-floor retail space.

Opponents of the project, which is scheduled to go before the Raleigh City Council on May 6, argue that the building is too tall and that neighbors would support a five-story structure, as city guidelines recommend for the area.

On the other hand, as architect Steve Schuster pointed out, the corresponding building height for the five-story limit is 75 feet. And 75 feet is in fact the height of the seven-story building proposed by Joshi.

Photo credits: Google Maps