Durham News

10-story office tower planned for downtown Durham

Rendering of 555 North Mangum, a 10-story office building planned for the former Elkins Chrysler dealership in downtown Durham.
Rendering of 555 North Mangum, a 10-story office building planned for the former Elkins Chrysler dealership in downtown Durham. Courtesy of Northwood Ravin

Demolition is set to begin this week on the corner of South Mangum Street and Jackie Robinson Drive to make way for an office building that will continue to shape downtown Durham’s skyline.

Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin and Washington, D.C.-based Akridge plan to build a 10-story, 240,000 square-foot office tower on the former Elkins Chrysler dealership property.

The tower, dubbed 555 Mangum, will include retail space on the ground floor, a penthouse conference room, a rooftop lounge and terrace overlooking the American Tobacco Campus and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

“We will be offering a trophy-quality office building which hasn’t yet been offered in Durham,” said Joseph G. Svatos, Akridge’s senior vice president of acquisitions and development.

The state-of-the-art office building will also include column-free space (to maximize available floor space), floor-to-ceiling glass and an athletic facility, he said.

“What corporate users and tech companies are looking for to fulfill their office needs right now,” said Jeff Furman, director of Raleigh operations for Northwood Ravin, which has an office in the Triangle.

In May 2015, Northwood Ravin acquired the 6-acre site for $11.7 million, according to county documents. The office building and a parking deck with about 800 spaces will be built on three acres, Furman said. A residential building is planned on the other three acres, he said.

The project is moving forward as downtown Durham office space is mostly full and tech and other modern companies are looking to house their employees in areas where they can live, play and work.

The building is expected to be delivered in late 2018.

The project is in the Downtown Design district, which means it only requires administrative site plan approval. The only time a project requires a public hearing is if the developer is seeking a special use permit or a variance through the Durham Board of Adjustment for alternatives or relief from the district’s standards, said Durham City-County Planning Director Steve Medlin.

Meanwhile, construction began ealier this year on a 27-story office tower at Corcoran and Parrish streets.

When complete, the City Center will have ground-floor retail and 155,000 square feet of office space — 55,000 of it leased by Duke University. There will be 21 floors of residences and two levels of underground parking.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges