American Tobacco Celebrates Ground Breaking on Phase II

American Tobacco logo

American Tobacco Celebrates Ground Breaking on Phase II

ATHD Drawing
The American Tobacco Historic District is now taking shape to become the project in this architectural drawing.

The American Tobacco Historic District in downtown Durham has come a long way from the dusty, abandoned and crumbling buildings to the bright and bustling walkways, flowing river and clean brick structures that now welcome workers and visitors. On Tuesday, June 7, 2005, the campus turned another corner with the official groundbreaking for Phase 2 of the project.

Capitol Broadcasting Company hosted an “A Special Evening of Music & Mingling” to kick off the latest stage of its development project on the night of the groundbreaking. Guests gathered in American Tobacco’s Bay 7 for a reception at 6pm and a private concert from Grammy-nominated local recording artist Tift Merritt at 7:30pm.

Attendees enjoyed a mini-concert by Tift Merritt and a major concert by Mother Nature as storms lit the sky outside.
Bay 7
The event took place in American Tobacco’s Bay 7.
Tift Merritt
Grammy-nominee Tift Merritt entertained with some numbers off her latest album.

During Merritt’s performance, a formidable thunder storm hit downtown Durham, catching the audience’s attention with its intensity. Merritt quipped, “If you’re going to be struck by lighting inside, isn’t this [Bay 7] a great place to be?” CBC’s metamorphosis of the 16-acre abandoned wreck proves that lighting can strike twice. What was once an active production facility is once again becoming a thriving hub of activity.

Jazz Ensemble
A jazz ensemble provided a backdrop for the reception portion of the evening.
Jim Goodmon
CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon talked to the crowd about his vision for Durham.
A buffet of hors d’oeuvres treated the attendees in the loft of Bay 7.

Phase II of the American Tobacco renovation will include the first residential properties on the campus. Located at the north end of the district, four buildings will be converted to include 12 condos and 5 apartments, as well as offices and other use. One of the oldest brick tobacco buildings in the nation, the Old Bull Building, built in 1874, will be the major residential location. Duke Corporate Education plans to inhabit the Lucky Strike Building, and developers plan to create a glass-enclosed restaurant in the old coal shed.

Tift Merritt & Jim Goodmon
CBC’s Jim Goodmon welcomed Tift Merritt to the stage.
Some Durham students made tobacco leaves artwork for the event.
The handmade leaves floated in Bull River.
The rain did not hamper the indoor event, but added an artwork of its own.
Vicki Murray & Ardie & Ron Gregory
CBC’s Vicki Murray (left) talks about the progress at American Tobacco with WRAL-FM’s Ardie Gregory & husband Ron.
Outdoor Stage
An outdoor stage now hosts concerts such as Alive After Five.
Tift Merritt
Tift Merritt began a history with CBC when speaking at an FCC hearing alongside Jim Goodmon.

CBC is bringing out the big guns for the second phase of development with the nationally recognized firm of Struever Bros, Eccles & Rouse (SBER). Headquartered in Baltimore, SBER is known for renovations at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, among other properties.

Several additional phases will follow Phase II of the renovations at American Tobacco, some of which will probably be under construction simultaneously with this latest work.

Artwork Artwork Artwork Artwork
Artwork Artwork celebrating blues musicians and the tradition of Blues in the Bull City adorned the first floor of Bay 7, decorating the area for the event.

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