Durham’s American Tobacco Campus is slated to receive a major upgrade in the next year.
The mixed-use campus and former tobacco factory will gain 600,000 to 700,000 square feet of residential, office and retail space after the new project breaks ground in early 2022. The 11-acre former University Ford car dealership, located adjacent to the ATC, will be redeveloped as an expansion to the campus and a huge commercial addition to downtown Durham.
The development is headed by Capitol Broadcasting Company—which owns the ATC and the nearby Durham Bulls Athletic Park—Hines and USAA Real Estate.
The ATC already boasts a large selection of restaurants, retailers, business offices and residences, as well as a hotel. The new expansion will provide new opportunities for “offices, food & beverage operators, grocery, entertainment venue operators and residents” and continued opportunities for “the lively public spaces that are hallmarks of the campus,” according to Mark Stanford, director of real estate development for CBC.
Stanford wrote in an email that the project aims to “bring a new density of retail into downtown.”
With Google opening a new campus in Durham soon, the Triangle Business Journal has reported that the company might try to lease part of the new ATC expansion. But Google has not confirmed this plan, and Stanford also declined to comment on this possibility.
The ATC website describes the proposed expansion to the campus as “delivered with the thoughtfulness and high quality associated with the three partners.”
Phase One of the project will cover eight of the 11 acres of the new property, which will be directly accessible from Highway 147 to the south and adjacent to “Durham’s burgeoning urban core featuring a host of amenities” to the north.
“Architecturally, the ATC expansion will carefully and imaginatively fit with the historic look of the original American Tobacco campus while embracing the amenities, efficiencies and innovations of new builds,” the website reads.
The project will also fit into the broader downtown area architecturally, playing off of “downtown Durham’s unique flavor.” However, the materials will be unique; the project’s first phase will utilize T3 timber structures, a first-of-its-kind design in the Triangle.
Another website dedicated to the ATC expansion, titling it ATC 2.0, describes Phase One as “T3 American Tobacco” in reference to the unique timber-based buildings that will populate the campus.
“Designed on the concepts of Timber, Transit and Technology, T3 American Tobacco offers the warmth of vintage timber aesthetic offices, with all the advantages of newly built workspace,” the website reads.
The retail options available will provide an ideal place to work, visit or live, the website reads, and will include “chef-driven restaurants and bars, fresh format grocery, couture boutiques and pop-up eateries.”
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
Parker Harris is a Trinity senior and an editor at large of The Chronicle's 118th volume.