Durham Celebrates American Tobacco Renovation With A Bang
Lucky Strike Smokestack Permanently Lighted
With a flip of a switch, Durham county, city and Capitol Broadcasting Company symbolically celebrated the beginning of the transformation of a 16-acre abandoned cigarette factory into a hub of offices, shops, restaurants and residences. The spotlight now shines on the refurbished Lucky Strike smokestack as a beacon and sign that life will return to the American Tobacco complex, and Durham along with it.
At 9:00pm on Monday, August 26, 2002, County Commissioners Mary Ann Black, Durham Mayor Bill Bell and CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon turned on the aging switch that will light the tower permanently, now. Black also kicked off a slate of speeches haling the progress as a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Durham.
Both the City and County have pledged funds to build parking decks to support the complex, which will bring over 3,000 jobs to the City. Both groups voted unanimously to back the project, signifying their confidence in downtown Durham and American Tobacco’s ability to rehabilitate the city into a bustling, profitable area.
“This is just what IBM was to the Research Triangle Park 30 years ago,” said Downtown Durham, Inc. President Bill Kalkoff. “It has that type of potential multiplier effect for downtown in terms of new investment.”
CBC hopes to begin construction in October; the buildings are currently undergoing environmental clean-up. CBC hopes to complete first phase of approximately 460,000 square feet by late 2003 or early 2004.