Local News

American Tobacco Project Continues To Take Shape

Posted November 19, 2004 5:31 a.m. EST

— After more than a decade of neglect, the American Tobacco complex in Durham is coming back to life.

In the past five months, a dozen companies have moved in. Three restaurants are on the way and space is going fast.

[The] old warehouse used to be spooky-looking and everything -- the railroad tracks and things. But, it's very nice," said Isaac Bryant.

"Leasing is very aggressive now. Lots of possibilities, lots of prospects. Enough to keep up busy," said Michael Goodmon, of Capitol Broadcasting Co.

Developers admit it was not always an easy sell.

"The sell was difficult because they were concerned about what it would be," Goodmon said.

At Intersouth Partners, employees said the blend of old and new is what sold them.

"The kinds of companies moving in here and the kinds of growth we see around here as a result is exciting," said Suzanne Cantando, of Intersouth Partners.

Phase 2 of the project is slated to get under way sometime next year, which means some of the campus' oldest buildings will become some of the city's newest living spaces.

"The eventual goal is to have people live on the north end, work down here and do everything right here," Goodmon said.

The city and the county pitched in more than $40 million to build two parking decks next to the campus. Both decks are now open. The American Tobacco project is being developed by WRAL's parent company, Capitol Broadcasting.