A Chicago developer plans to renovate a shuttered 150-room hotel near downtown Durham and convert it into a boutique hotel.
AJ Capital Partners acquired the property at 600 Willard Street, just blocks from the American Tobacco Campus, for $7.6 million this week, according to Durham County property records.
The company plans to convert the 3.7-acre site into a Graduate Hotel, a new brand of college town boutique hotels that AJ Capital launched last year.
Graduate Hotels are already open in Tempe, Ariz., Athens, Ga. and Madison, Wisc., with additional hotels slated to open this summer in Charlottesville, Va. and Oxford, Miss.
AJ Capital plans to begin renovating the Durham site later year with the property reopening in late 2016. Graduate Durham will feature an outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor event spaces and a boardroom and ballroom.
The project is one of several new hotels planned for in an around downtown Durham. Over the next 12 months, the area is expected to add a total of 513 guest rooms to the 189 city-center rooms available at the Durham Marriott Civic Center.
Earlier this year the 125-room 21C Museum Hotel opened in the renovated Hill Building. Other projects scheduled to open include:
▪ The Durham Hotel, 315 E. Chapel Hill St. (former Mutual Community Savings Bank): 54 rooms, restaurant, rooftop lounge, meeting space, business center, fitness room, outdoor patio. Opening expected in May.
▪ Jack Tar, 212 N. Corcoran St. 75 rooms, 7,000-square-foot pool deck, parking deck. Opening expected first quarter 2016.
▪ Aloft Hotel, 345 Blackwell St. 134 rooms, restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, gym, meeting space. Opening expected in June.
▪ Residence Inn by Marriott, 1108 W. Main St. (McPherson Hospital site). 125 rooms. Opening expected in June.