US: Kentucky-based 21c Museum Hotels is to convert the SunTrust tower in downtown Durham, North Carolina, into a boutique hotel.
The company has bought the building for $5.25 million from Greenfire Development, which at one time had its own plans to turn the building into a boutique hotel as part of a redevelopment vision for downtown Durham. Greenfire is also a minority partner in the company that bought the building, 21c Durham,
Bill Kalkhof, president of economic development group Downtown Durham Inc., praised Greenfire for its change of tactics: “They got caught up in the hard times of the economy, almost a depression on the commercial development side, and they made, I think, a very wise decision to go out and seek partners who could actually develop what their original vision was back a number of years ago.”
Stephanie Greene, a spokeswoman for 21c Museum Hotels, said the construction timetable will be dictated by the terms of incentive agreements with the city and county. Construction must begin no later than this July, and finish no later than July 2015.
21c Museum Hotels has three hotels trading and two more in the development pipeline.