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Construction starts on first phase of $100M Durham Innovation District

Longfellow Real Estate Partners and Duke University have broken ground on first phase of the $100 million downtown Durham Innovation District buildings.

“To the people of Durham, this is your innovation district, and these will be your buildings,” said Adam Sichol, co-founder and managing partner of Boston-based Longfellow at the March 17 ceremony. “Today we’re betting on the future of Durham and its people.”

Project team members include Duda Paine Architects, general contractor Barnhill Contracting Company and Measurement Inc. Both Durham city and county governments are also contributing $5.25 million toward the cost of the parking deck, which will offer supplemental public parking for nearby community events, restaurants and businesses, Triangle Business Journal reports.

The nearly $100 million project — part of the 1.7 million sq. ft. innovation district— will bring nearly 350,000 sq. ft. of primarily new office space downtown, along with a 1,200-vehicle parking deck. The plan will also include ground-level retail space for restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses.

Longfellow, which owns around two million square feet of office space in Durham and Research Triangle Park, said it expects the buildings to be completed in summer 2018. The company has been investing in the area since 2008 and has been working on Durham ID project for the past four years.

Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), the only announced tenant so far, has leased all 160,000 sq. ft. of the 200 Morris building.

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