The former eight-story hotel building located at 600 Willard Street could one day become a 340-unit apartment building, if recently submitted plans are approved. Zachery Eanes The Herald-Sun
The former eight-story hotel building located at 600 Willard Street could one day become a 340-unit apartment building, if recently submitted plans are approved. Zachery Eanes The Herald-Sun

Business

Former downtown Durham hotel site could become apartment complex

By Zachery Eanes

zeanes@heraldsun.com

July 09, 2017 06:00 AM

DURHAM

A national apartment builder has submitted plans to redevelop the former Crown Park Hotel on Willard Street into an apartment building.

Plans submitted for review in May show that Alliance Residential Co., a Phoenix-based investor and manager of residential communities, would like to redevelop the former eight-story hotel at 600 Willard St. into a 340-unit apartment building with a parking deck.

The files submitted to the Durham City-County Planning Department reveal the apartment complex would be made up of two buildings, totaling 395,000 square feet, with one featuring a 145,000-square-foot parking deck with 440 parking spaces. The plans also show multiple courtyards and a pool.

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The taller of the two buildings would rise seven stories with the second building coming in at five stories.

Alliance Residential, which has offices in Charlotte, declined to comment on the submitted plans citing a confidentiality agreement it had signed.

Architectural firms Cline Design of Raleigh and the McAdams Co. of Durham are listed on the submitted plans, which are under review and subject to change.

The property is located across the street from the University Ford auto dealership that Capitol Broadcasting Co. bought last year for nearly $30 million. Capitol Broadcasting plans to expand its American Tobacco Campus onto that property. The property is also bordered by Duke Street, an off-ramp of N.C. 147 and Yancey Street.

Durham County property records list RAAJ Durham Owner LLC, a subsidiary of Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners, as the owners of the property. AJ bought the 75,696-square-foot building in 2015 for $7.6 million.

The 3.7-acre property had an appraised value of $6.78 million as of 2016.

An attempt to to reach AJ Capital Partners for comment was unsuccessful.

The group had previously planned to redevelop the building into a 150-room boutique hotel. The Triangle Business Journal reported in February that the development of The Graduate Durham Hotel, which would have been part of the Graduate Hotel chain, was delayed indefinitely.

The structure that currently sits at 600 Willard St. was built in 1973 as a Ramada Inn – and since the 1970s, it has also operated as a Radisson Hotel and a Best Western Hotel.

The submitted plans come amid an apartment building boom in downtown Durham. With the addition of the Alliance Residential plans, a projected 1,358 apartment units could be added to the downtown area in the next few years.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes