Dealmaker: Durham, N.C. Office Tower Trades for $37M

Turnbridge Equities, New York, acquired Tower at Mutual Plaza, a 15-story Class A office tower in Durham, N.C., for $37.2 million.

Also known as 411 West Chapel Hill Street, the 180,000-square-foot property is adjacent to the American Tobacco District in Durham.

Tower at Mutual Plaza

Turnbridge acquired the building through a mortgage foreclosure after acquiring a subordinate interest in the property’s loan, which the borrower defaulted on in December 2019. Turnbridge obtained debt financing from Knighthead Funding LLC, Greenwich, Conn., for the acquisition.

The transaction represented the most recent in a number of investments Turnbridge has made in the Research Triangle Park in the past two years, including acquiring The Creamery in downtown Raleigh and the Cary Towne Center mall, which is slated for redevelopment.

The Tower at Mutual Plaza served as the headquarters for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. for years. Today the building houses a mix of public and private tenants including NC Mutual, Duke University, the Department of Veterans Affairs and architecture firm Perkins and Will.

Prior ownership implemented an $11 million renovation plan, largely focused on enhancing the property’s common areas including the lobby and exterior courtyard.

Built in the 1960s by North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., Mutual Plaza was recently designated by the City of Durham as a historic landmark for its significance as an illustration of African American entrepreneurship and socio-economic progress in the twentieth century, reflecting Durham’s history.

Turnbridge Managing Director Jason Davis said Durham’s economy is well-positioned to weather any downturns with its mix of governmental, educational, and private employers, “including Durham’s thriving technology and life sciences sectors,” he said.