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Main Street Partners Development in Durham, North Carolina
Hoping to Include 144-room Hampton Inn

By Beth Velliquette, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

April 20, 2011--CARRBORO -- The developers of the 300 E. Main Street project are hopeful that construction could start this summer on a hotel on the northeastern edge of the property.

The local group that plans to build the hotel is working on its financing, but it appears that the process is moving forward, said Laura Van Sant of Main Street Partners.

"It's going to be a Hampton Inn," Van Sant said.

The hotel plans call for 144 rooms on the second, third and fourth stories, with a restaurant and retail space on the first floor of the building. Main Street Partners will own and lease out the restaurant and retail space.

The hotel is expected to take 12 to 18 months to build.

The property for the multi-building project encompasses the old Performance Bicycle Shop, which is being leased currently to Furniture Follies, west to the railroad track and includes the area where the ArtsCenter and Cats Cradle are located.

"We're really excited that we think we might be getting close to getting something started," Van Sant said. "We hope it will happen soon, and we can have an announcement for the start date."

On Tuesday night, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen was scheduled to review the design for the parking deck. If things go according to schedule, the structure will be completed at the same time as the hotel, Van Sant said.

The first phase of the parking deck will have 450 to 500 parking spaces, and a portion of those spaces will be assigned to the hotel, she said.

The second phase of the parking work will complete the deck for a total of 850 spaces, but that phase is probably years away, Van Sant said.

Main Street Partners is working on some other opportunities, but Van Sant was not ready to talk about them yet. It's possible the third building to be constructed would be at the other end of the property next to the railroad tracks, where a pottery shop is now located.

That building would be removed and a five-story "signature building" would be constructed. Preliminary plans call for retail space on the first and second floors, office space on the third and fourth floors and a fifth-floor restaurant with an outdoor patio.

The other buildings in the development likely will house retail space on the first floors and office space on subsequent floors.

Main Street Partners received approval for the project several years ago, but like many other projects approved in Carrboro, when the economy soured, the project was put on hold. It's still a challenge to obtain loans and find businesses looking for space, Van Sant said.


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Copyright (c) 2011, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.

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