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Renovation of Durham's Chesterfield Building delayed again

The renovation of downtown Durham's Chesterfield building, which was originally expected to begin back in April, has been delayed again.

Josh Parker, the developer behind the project, said in an email today that the closing of the $63 million in stimulus bonds being used to finance much of project won't occur until Sept. 30.

Chesterfield Partners, Parker's company, can't take ownership of the building until the closing occurs and the bonds are sold to investors as long-term notes with a fixed interest rate.

Parker said the delay wasn't caused by the company's inability to get the terms it wanted for the bonds.

"There were some things going on outside of our control that caused a last minute delay despite most everything being ready for a closing on June 30," he said. "The September 30 date is the next best date we could get with efficiency to get all the pieces ready on the same day and steer clear of how summer affects Wall Street. 

Chesterfield Partners rolled bonds in to a new escrow period with an interest rate of .40 percent, Parker said. 

"This is a low interest rate that doesn't materially change the overall budget and a cost we can absorb," he said.

The fixed interest rate on the bonds will dictate how profitable the deal ends up being for Chesterfield Partners.

Sale of bonds near for Durham's Chesterfield Building project

Chesterfield Partners, which is attempting to renovate the Chesterfield building in downtown Durham using federal stimulus bonds, has been given approval to issue the bonds from the state.

The Local Government Commission approved the developer's request at its meeting last week. Chesterfield Partners had earlier gotten approval from Durham County officials.

Developer Josh Parker said the underwriters are now making final preparations to sell $65 million in bonds, which must be issued before the end of the year.

Stone & Youngberg, a New York investment firm, has been hired to market the bonds.

Commissioners OK Chesterfield bond sale

Chesterfield Partners LLC won the county commissioners' unanimous approval tonight for a $65 million recovery-zone bond sale to support renovation of the former Liggett & Myers cigarette factory.

Proceeds from the bond sale would be loaned to Chesterfield Partners, which would bear sole responsibility for repayment. Issuing bonds through the Durham County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority allows a private business to borrow at a low interest rate.

"The county bears no financial liability or potential financial liability," said former N.C. Chief Justice Burley Mitchell, speaking on behalf of Chesterfield Partners

"The Chesterfield project is ... truly shovel-ready, which is what the recovery-zone bonds were intended for," Mitchell said.

The proposed renovation would convert the 360,000 square-foot factory for mixed uses including stores, a restaurant, office space, storage space, 152 loft-style apartments and various tenant amenities, said Chesterfield Managing Partner Josh Parker.

Standing at the corner of Main and Duke streets, adjacent to the former Liggett & Myers complex already redeveloped as West Village, the 1949 "Chesterfield Building" (so called because the factory was decades topped with a billboard for Chesterfield cigarettes, above) would be "an important linchpin ... connecting the Brightleaf [Square] area with the heart of downtown," said Commissioner Ellen Reckhow, who moved for approval.

There was no discussion before the vote. Besides Mitchell, Downtown Durham Inc. CEO Bill Kalkhof and John White, public-policy director at the Durham Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of the bond issue.

Total project budget is $89 million, Parker said, and it would create about 200 temporary jobs during construction and, directly and indirectly, create the equivalent of about 250 full-time jobs after completion.

Chesterfield still needs approval by the state Local Government Commission before the sale can begin. With approval, Parker said, the sale could be closed in December and demolition and hazard-abatement begin in January.


Monday is key day for two downtown Durham projects

Two downtown Durham redevelopment projects that are seeking approval to use federal stimulus bonds will be discussed at Monday's meeting of the Durham County commissioners.

Both projects are on extremely tight timelines, as the bonds must be marketed and sold to investors by the end of the year.

The projects also need approval from the state Local Government Commission before they can market the bonds.

First up will be developer Josh Parker and Chesterfield Partner's application to use $65 million in federal stimulus bonds to transform the Chesterfield building in downtown Durham into a mix of retail, offices and apartments.

Next up after Chesterfield Partners is Greenfire Development's application for $25 million in stimulus bonds that it would use to convert the landmark Hill Building into a 165-room boutique hotel called Spark.

Redevelopment plan for Durham's Chesterfield building passes one hurdle

Developer Josh Parker's efforts to redevelop the massive Chesterfield building in downtown Durham passed one hurdle earlier this week.

On Monday, the state Department of Commerce gave Parker's development group, Chesterfield Partners, approval for $65 million in borrowing capacity.

Chesterfield Partners is hoping to sell $65 million in federal stimulus bonds to transform the Chesterfield building into a mix of retail, offices and apartments.

Parker also needs approval from Durham County's Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority. A hearing has been set for Nov. 8 to discuss the proposal.

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