PRESS RELEASE – The Durham City Council has approved a $5.7 million incentive to convert a 17-story downtown landmark into a 21c Museum Hotel. The unanimous decision came after 10 business and arts community leaders spoke out in support during a public hearing. The incentive is payable over 20 years and requires 21c to comply with construction start and finish deadlines and operate the hotel for the full term. The Durham location is the fifth announced by 21c Museum Hotels.
The company was approached by the current owners of the Historic Hill Building to rehabilitate the mostly vacant landmark building designed by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon, the firm best known for the Empire State Building. The adaptive reuse project is estimated to cost $48 million and will open in 2015.
“This project supports 21c’s dual mission of making contemporary art more accessible to more people more often and of contributing to the revitalization of American downtowns. The Hill Building is such a key building of historical significance in downtown Durham, and we are very excited to have an opportunity to breathe new life and energy into it as a 21c Museum Hotel,” says Craig Greenberg, president of 21c Museum Hotels.
· 21c Museum Hotels to be lead developer and manage the completed hotel
· $48 million project cost
· 150 new permanent jobs
· 200 new construction jobs
· New contemporary art museum open free of charge to the public
· Restaurant and bar
About 21c Museum Hotels
21c Museum Hotel was founded in Louisville, Kentucky in 2006 by preservationists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. The project supports both their desire to preserve beautiful Kentucky farmland through revitalization efforts in downtown Louisville andtheir vision for making contemporary art a part of more people’s daily lives. The couple tapped architect Deborah Berke to convert a series of 19th century tobacco and Bourbon warehouses into a contemporary art museum with 9,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 90 room boutique hotel, and arestaurant and bar, Proof on Main. As North America’s first museum devoted solely to the art of living artists, 21c Museum Hotel features a rotating program of curated exhibitions as well as site-specific, commissioned installations. 21c has garnered praise from many notable publicationsincluding Travel + Leisure, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, W, and Condé Nast Traveler, whose readers voted 21c among the top 10 hotels in the world in the annual Readers’ Choice Survey in 2009, 2010 and 2011. With the critical and financial success of the Louisville property and after having been approached by local partners interested in having a 21c Museum Hotel in their community, 21c Museum Hotels was formed in 2007 to oversee the development and management of 21c Museum Hotel properties in new markets. Hotels are under construction in Cincinnati, OH (opening thefourth quarter of 2012) and Bentonville, AR (opening the first quarter of 2013) and under development in Lexington, KY. The company plans to develop 15 properties over the next five to ten years.
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21c Museum Hotels
21c Museum Hotels