Durham Adding New Downtown Hotels in 2015


Aloft Rendering – David and Jones

Durham is planning to open five new hotels and complete an expansion at a sixth hotel next year. According to Shelly Green, CEO of Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city hasn’t seen that many hotel additions in a single year since 2004.

Four of the hotels are expected to open in or near downtown, where Green said there’s the greatest need for rooms.

  • The Durham: A 54-room boutique hotel in the former Mutual Community Savings Bank intended to open in April 2015. The developer bought the building for $2.6 million in March, and the project is backed by $1.2 million in city and county incentives.
  • 21c Museum Hotel: A boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, and restaurant opening in next year’s first quarter. Work has already started to renovate the former SunTrust Tower. The company behind the project won $7.7 million in city and county incentives.
  • Residence Inn: Near Duke University’s East Campus, an extended-stay Residence Inn by Marriott incorporates a renovated portion of the McPherson Hospital, constructed in 1926. The city and county pledged more than $1.7 million for the project, which must be completed by next year for the incentives to stay in place.
  • Aloft: A 134-room hotel in the revitalized American Tobacco Historic District scheduled to open in May 2015. “Since the rebirth of the American Tobacco Campus almost ten years ago, we have envisioned a complete experience with a full array of services and attractions,” said Michael Goodmon, Vice President of Real Estate for Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns American Tobacco. “While the vision to develop a one-of-a-kind destination has always been there, we’ve spent countless hours looking for the right plans and partners.” Two additional Aloft hotels are also planned for summer 2015 on Hillsborough Street and Brier Creek in Raleigh.

Other hotels include:

  • Home2Suites by Hilton
  • Rizzo Conference Center expansion

Geoff Durham, president of Downtown Durham Inc., said he believes the success and growth of the entertainment, restaurant, and retail venues downtown will allow demand to exceed expectations for the new hotels. “The market was already drastically underserved, with only one downtown lodging option,” he said in an email. “So to a large extent, these new hotel developments are playing catch-up to this demand.”

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