Developer Trio Plans 11-Acre ATC West Mixed-Use Project in Downtown Durham

ATC West Durham American Tobacco Campus

ATC West will be an expansion of the existing American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, N.C.

DURHAM, N.C. — A trio of real estate owners and developers has unveiled plans for an 11-acre mixed-use development in downtown Durham. Capitol Broadcasting Co. (CBC), Hines and USAA Real Estate have formalized a joint venture to move forward with the 700,000-square-foot project known as ATC West. Construction is expected to begin in late 2021 or early 2022.

The development will be situated on the west side of the American Tobacco Campus (ATC), an adaptive reuse district that houses warehouses built and formerly leased by American Tobacco Co., parent company of the Lucky Strike cigarette brand. The original use of the ATC site dates back to 1890.

CBC owns ATC, as well as the neighboring Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The new venture will be an expansion of the overall ATC district.

Plans for the first phase of ATC West will be on eight acres and include 313,000 square feet of space in two mass-timber creative office buildings that are branded under Hines’ T3 product. (T3 stands for timber, transit and technology.)

ATC West Durham T3 Office

ATC West’s two office buildings will be mass-timber construction that Hines says will fit the overall aesthetic of the American Tobacco Campus.

“ATC West will fit with the historic look of the original American Tobacco Campus while embracing the amenities, efficiencies and innovations of new builds,” says Kurt Hartman, senior managing director of Hines. “It’s a natural fit with the numerous brick and beam buildings that already exist in Durham.”

Phase I of ATC West will also include 350 multifamily units in a 14-story high-rise, as well as 90,000 square feet of experiential retail that will include a theater/draft house, prepared foods grocer and complementary amenity shops and restaurants. Additionally, the project will include a central plaza and pedestrian alleyways that will be activated with events for residents, tenants and the surrounding community.

The development team has selected Atlanta-based Dwell Design Studio as the design architect for the entire project, as well as architect of record for the high-rise and retail components. Charlotte-based DLR Group is the architect of record for the timber office buildings and ATC West’s civil engineers will be selected in the near future, according to a spokesperson at Hines.

Paul Zarian, director of Hines, says that ATC West will be designed and operated with health and wellness as the top priority in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is no question that we will incorporate the latest technology in air filtration and provide a seamless, touchless environment,” says Zarian. “Many other design features will be determined through the intensive design process that will take place over the next year. The goal is to set the standard in resident, employee and guest health and wellness.”

ATC West will be situated near Highway 147, which connects downtown Durham to Research Triangle Park and interstates 40 and 85. The campus is also situated near Duke University. Car dealership University Ford previously occupied the new site.

Capitol Broadcasting Co. is a Raleigh-based communications firm that owns several radio stations, TV stations and websites, as well as media firms and the American Underground startup hub in Durham. The company also owns the Durham Bulls Baseball Club and Bull City Hospitality, which are also based in Durham. Outside of the city, CBC owns interests in Rock Mount Mills in Rocky Mount, N.C., and Professional Builders Supply in Morrisville, N.C.

CBC brought along Hines and USAA for the ATC West development. The global real estate developers are also underway on another mixed-use development in the Triangle area: the 92-acre Fenton project in Cary that New York-based mega grocer Wegmans will anchor.

— John Nelson

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