American Tobacco will soon be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the district’s rebirth. Over the past decade the campus has expanded to include office space, residential and commercial space, converting the abandoned warehouses into a vibrant destination. To mark the occasion, American Tobacco will hold a Block Party on Sunday, September 7, 2014.
The fun will include street performers, bands, exhibits and more. An art exhibit in the Crowe Building lobby will feature Lucky Strike artifacts. Enjoy two stages with bands and community performances.
Come help American Tobacco celebrate a decade as downtown Durham’s entertainment district. Our 10th anniversary, 120 years in the making.
More About American Tobacco and Its Rebirth
A Bit of History
For over 100 years, the American Tobacco factory on Blackwell Street in Durham produced some of the most famous tobacco products in American History, including Lucky Strike and Bull Durham.
But in 1987, American Brands closed the factory in Durham, ushering in 20 years of decline and decay in downtown Durham.
In 2004, the Capitol Broadcasting Company, owner of the Durham Bulls, re-opened the old tobacco campus and began a renovation that would change the trajectory of Durham.
Capitol Broadcasting would invest over $200 million renovating the factory buildings into a Class A office, entertainment and residential complex that has been recognized nationally as the definitive example of re-purposing and re-developing historic properties.
The redevelopment of American Tobacco would spur other growth in the area, including the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC).
Small business growth began to take root on Main Street, branching out across the downtown loop, creating a restaurant and entertainment district that has been dubbed the Durham Renaissance.
And, underneath the old factory, American Tobacco has become the catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship. The American Underground has helped launched world-class startups including Smashing Boxes, Two Toasters, Adzerk and BoostSuite.
“We have everything here from for-profits to non-profits,” said Michael Goodmon, VP of Real Estate for Capitol Broadcasting. “We have universities including Duke and the Art Institute. We have WUNC-FM, architectural firms, banks, a non-profit incubator called Mission Post and one of the leading advertising agencies in the world.”
Today, American Tobacco Campus has over one million square feet of office space, nearly 90,000 feet of residential apartments and 10 restaurants with more on the way.
“We’re proud to be part of the Durham Renaissance,” continued Goodmon. “Who would have thought that the American Tobacco Historic District would attract some 2 million visitors a year?”
“We’re excited about what the next ten years will bring for American Tobacco Campus and the City of Durham.”
Thanks to American Tobacco for contributions to this capcom story & for this capcom graphic.