Duke’s now owns three hotel properties, as newly renamed The Lodge at Duke Medical Center joins the family.
Duke has purchased the Cambria Hotel Durham, a recently renovated 148-room, two-building hotel surrounded by the Duke University Medical Center, according to the Triangle Business Journal. Duke renamed the hotel to The Lodge at Duke Medical Center, and it joins the JB Duke Hotel and the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club as Duke-owned lodging.
The purchase comes as the coronavirus notably slows business in the hospitality industry—in the Triangle as well as across the nation.
“We got a call from the owners saying they were willing to sell the property and it had not come on the market in a long time,” Scott Selig, Duke’s associate vice president for capital assets and real estate, told the Triangle Business Journal. “The building is in great shape, and there’ll be some minor repairs to it.”
The addition to Duke’s hotel portfolio also comes on the heels of the announcement that the Washington Duke will house some juniors and seniors during the upcoming academic year. The hotel does not usually house students, but the change is part of Duke’s efforts to reduce health risk for undergraduates returning to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The July 8 sale price for the Cambria Hotel is listed as $8.95 million by the Durham County Tax Administration, more than $1 million under its previous sale price. The hotel was last bought for $10.2 million in 2015 by a partnership between a hospitality company and a real estate company, who then put more than $8 million into renovations. Duke also paid less than Durham County’s tax assessment for the property of $9.36 million.
Past building purchases by the University include the 300 Swift Avenue apartment building, a 2017 purchase of the Macy’s building at Northgate Mall, a medical office building in north Raleigh and a medical building in Durham from Blue Cross Blue Shield. More recently, Duke acquired space in the Avana and Blue Light apartments near campus for juniors and seniors for the upcoming academic year.
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Preetha Ramachandran is a Trinity junior and senior editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.