More plans for downtown Durham development

February 18, 2008 5:22:21 PM PST
A local developer has some big plans for downtown Durham. Greenfire Development hopes to spend $260 million dollars over the next seven years on several new projects.

If this plan is approved the skyline in Durham will see some major changes.

Last year's $14 million dollar Durham Rising Project pales in comparison to plans in the works by Greenfire Development. Michael Lemanski, spokesperson with Greenfire Development, says plans have already been announced to turn the downtown SunTrust building into a hotel and restaurant. But there's a lot more planned. "Not only is it gonna change the skyline," Lemanski says, "But it's gonna change the way people view Durham."

Lemanski explains the future downtown will cost $260 million dollars. "Next what we'll be doing is focusing on what we call the Parrish St. office tower. And then parking to support that. It's gonna be spread out in several different places in the city center. So we're looking at taking the new city surface lots. Which actually used to have buildings on them," Lemanski said.

There are some hurdles. City Councilman Eugene Brown says the project would help downtown, but calls it "complicated and expensive," adding both city and county governments would have to first agree to the plan and fund a portion of the plan.

The Durham City Council will discuss the project Thursday night. A vote is expected on March 3rd.


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