Developers To Turn Durham Tower into Hotel

Posted March 14, 2007

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— Greenfire Development is teaming with a Connecticut-based firm to turn the historic Hill Building in downtown Durham into a hotel.

Greenfire and Lifestyle Hospitality are aiming to create what they call a “boutique hotel” and are aiming for a “four-diamond level” operation.

The building, which most recently housed Sun Trust banking operations and retains a Sun Trust sign as well as some bank offices, will feature 110 rooms, condominiums, a restaurant and spa services.

Lifestyle Hospitality will also operate the hotel. The firm has worked with other hotel companies such as Loews Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels and Kimpton Hotels.

“Durham is ripe for this type of hotel,” said Greenfire managing partner Michael Lemanski in a statement. “With our planned office tower across the street, the new Performing Arts Center, and the many other developments happening downtown, this was the right time to bring a second hotel into the City Center.”

Greenfire is in the process of developing several properties in Durham. The downtown area is already home to a Marriott hotel.

Steve Marx, chief executive officer of Lifestyle Hospitality, has been involved in numerous other high-end hotel efforts.

“Currently, the boutique hotel genre is the fastest growing segment in the hotel industry,” Marx said “We chose Durham because of its energy and the opportunity to locate the hotel in this gorgeous building.”

Greenfire bought the 70-year-old tower from Sun Trust last year for $4.1 million. The Sun Trust sign on the building will remain in place.

The firms also said they hoped to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the Green Building Council for the remodeled building.


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