New Markets Tax Credit Makes Big Impact in Durham

Carmichael Building

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program incentivizes community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities. In short, the core goals of the NMTC program are job creation and community revitalization. In the case of the Carmichael building at 300 N. Duke St. in Durham, North Carolina, there is no question – it worked.

The Carmichael Building is a 115,000 square-foot brick and timber two-story warehouse located in downtown Durham next to the Durham School of the Arts. Originally built in 1926 as a tobacco warehouse, a portion of it was used to house the Durham County Social Services offices in the 1970s and 1980s. Interestingly, some of the building remained a tobacco warehouse during that time – and it definitely smelled like it, too! Like many buildings in downtown Durham, The Carmichael Building then sat vacant for more than a decade before the redevelopment.

The Carmichael Building underwent a $47 million redevelopment and now serves as home to first-class research laboratories and offices for the Duke University Molecular Physiology Institute and Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center. Currently, approximately 220 people work in the building helping create new activity and vibrancy in downtown Durham. The adaptive reuse of the Carmichael Building would not have been possible without utilizing NMTC, which included a $7 million allocation from CAHEC New Markets in September 2013.

Additionally, the Carmichael Building became the anchor move of life sciences to downtown Durham by Duke University and sparked the redevelopment of what is now known as the Durham Innovation District, or “Durham.ID” for short. Led and developed by Longfellow Real Estate Partners, the Durham.ID is planned to have 1.7 million square feet of Class A laboratory, office, and retail space, along with 300 residential units.

As for the Carmichael Building, Longfellow Real Estate Partners uses the building’s success as a catalyst and calling card for attracting other tenants to the Duham.ID, including Google, who recently rented space one block from the Carmichael Building. Jessica Brock, the lead partner for the Durham.ID, says, “With the blend of established, urban living that Durham provides, combined with the world-class, innovative lab and office space that Longfellow continues to create in the neighborhood, Durham.ID is one of our proudest achievements both locally and nationally. These elements make for an extremely attractive value proposition as we work with some of the leading companies and institutions we provide space for."