WUNC's "The State of Things" carried an interesting interview with Andy Rothschild, head of Durham-based Scientific Properties, in its Monday program. The Frank Stasio-helmed program has been posted to WUNC's site as a podcast, available for listening or download from the station's web site.
There were a few pieces of interesting news on the program related to the future of Scientific's various Bull City projects -- including the ambitious Golden Belt arts complex on East Main Street:
- Over 90% of the studio space at Golden Belt has been pre-leased, and the developer is no longer taking reservations for these spaces.
- Rothschild noted that "we have several restaurants that are going to move in" to Golden Belt, a fairly definitive statement, though he provided no more detail about what establishments might be in line for the project.
- The Scientific honcho fretted about Heritage Square's progress, noting that it's "far from a realized project at this point," and that the developer "have been unsuccessful of late really getting the money that we need from the county that we need to move forward," and implying that the project would be DOA without County Commission incentives.
- Golden Belt will host a Jacob Lawrence exhibition, "The Migration of the Negro" -- a complete, 60 piece exhibition that's been shown in part before at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum; this will offer an opportunity to see the entire 1941 series in one place.
- Rothschild confirmed a plan for a large project massing at the site of today's Elkins Chrysler across from Diamond View and the DBAP and next door to the future county courthouse site, noting that the site would include "a new [corporate] headquarters building, and great new tall architecture, the first tall buildings to be built in Durham in a generation." A hotel and residential development are also intended for the site. The mention of Scientific's being the first such new building in a generation can almost be interpreted as an interesting competitive dig at Messrs. Lemanski and Webb, who've also proposed Durham's next tall building for the city center on the Woolworth site.