written by Ted Conner, Senior Vice President of Economic Development
On a late night in 2015, members of the Chamber staff were attending a meeting of an elected body at which three Public/Private Partnerships involving the renovation of the Chesterfield Building, the Durham ID and Park Center were approved. After the meeting the Chamber observed that this was an epic night in Durham’s history because the face of Durham was going to be interminably changed as a result of these Public/Private Partnerships in addition to the partnership approved earlier in the year for the City Center Project.
One cannot say how important the joint City-County the Public/Private Partnerships have proven in bringing these projects towards fruition. Recently tenants started moving into the Chesterfield Building, returning life to a building that has been vacant since 1999. In addition, the City Center building is being topped out and steel is being erected for the two new office buildings and assembly the new Durham ID parking deck is underway.
To top off this progress, Rich Horn with Strategic Capital Partners purchased approximately 100 acres of land on Patriot Drive from IBM for the development of a new business park called Patriot Park with entitlements allowing the developer to build more than 1 million square feet of new industrial space. This is the first new business park since Liberty Property Trust began construction of Liberty Ridge in 2008. Interestingly, Liberty Ridge is now built-out with the last building scheduled for completion in the fall.
The Durham Chamber has been integrally involved in these projects and realized that this is indeed an epic week in Durham!