AJFF Purchases American Tobacco Property
CBC to Lease Property Through American Campus LLC
After three years of research and planning, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, has bought the 16-acre American Tobacco property in downtown Durham for a reported $4.75 million. The purchase took place on Monday, April 15, 2002, and further sets into motion Capitol Broadcasting Company’s plans to convert the abandoned factories into office, retail and residential space in an effort to further revitalize the Bull City’s downtown.
The AJFF will lease the property to CBC long-term through American Campus LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of CBC. The Foundation purchased the one million square feet of factory space from Adam Abram, a developer who purchased the complex in 1987 after the American Tobacco Company moved out of Durham.
CBC plans to renovate the property in phases and have already begun the environmental clean-up to rid the aging buildings of asbestos and other hazardous materials. CBC is also working on repairing the crumbling Lucky Strike tower with the help of the same company that moved the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The company has purchased an escrow account for an undisclosed amount to take care of these clean-up costs.
Phase one of the renovation should be completed sometime next spring, and the 500,000 square feet will consist mainly of office and lab space with some retail. The second phase of work will then begin, creating more office space and either a hotel or condominium complex.