Durham News

Once tallest building in Durham fully leased

The Trust Building, 212 W. Main St., as seen during the 1960s.
The Trust Building, 212 W. Main St., as seen during the 1960s.

The historic Trust Building at 212 W. Main St. will soon become a center of entrepreneurial activity again in downtown Durham.

Sitting mostly vacant for over 20 years, the Trust Building is now fully leased by major tenants: the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, software company Windsor Circle, and the American Underground startup campus.

Built in 1905, the Trust Building was reported to be the tallest office building in North Carolina at the time and is notable as Durham’s first multi-story office building with the city’s first elevator. The building was home to Fidelity Bank, led by Benjamin Duke, and the Home Savings Bank, led by George W. Watts and John Sprunt Hill.

“George W. Watts and John Sprunt Hill made investments that became a catalyst for downtown Durham business development,” said Carl Webb, one of the projects investors. “We are excited to reactivate that rich history and believe that our new tenants reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of Durham and will build on the investments we have made throughout the City Center,”

Fueling the local business community by marketing Durham as a destination, The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau will relocate their current office and the Visitor Information Center into the first and mezzanine floors. Windsor Circle, a fast-growing eCommerce marketing software firm with over 70 employees, is expanding its team and relocating its corporate headquarters to the top two floors. American Underground, a campus for entrepreneurs with a network of 200-plus startup companies and support organizations, will occupy part of the first floor, as well as second and third floors.

The Trust Building is being redeveloped by 212 West Main, LLC, which is led by Michael Lemanski. Perkins+Will is the architect and BridgePoint is the general contractor for the project.