Local News

Capitol Broadcasting Exercises Option To Buy Property On American Tobacco Campus

Posted January 23, 2002 11:54 a.m. EST

— There is big progress being made on one of the Bull City's major revitalization projects. Capitol Broadcasting, WRAL's parent company, is now making its development plans official by exercising an option to buy the property.

Nine buildings and more than a million square feet of space make up the American Tobacco project in downtown Durham. The plan is to turn the complex into restaurants, shops, offices, a fitness center and possibly some residential units.

Peter Karmanos, owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, said his software company, CompuWare, will join Duke University in leasing space on the American Tobacco campus. The project could change the landscape of downtown Durham.

Last week, developers hired CCS, a Durham company, to go through the buildings and clear out old artifacts, which will be saved for possible displays or turned into artwork.

This week, crews will begin removing asbestos and lead paint from the property. The cleanup work is the first phase of construction and should take about four to five months.

After that, the second phase will include the actual renovation of the buildings. Meanwhile, Capitol Broadcasting is trying to finalize deals with another anchor tenant.

If everything goes according to schedule, companies could be moving in by early spring of next year.