Building permit approved for Ben Benson's at American Tobacco | Durham County | Indy Week
Pin It

Building permit approved for Ben Benson's at American Tobacco 

The long-rumored arrival of a high-end steakhouse in Durham's American Tobacco Campus appears to be a step closer to materializing. On July 30, the Durham City-County planning office issued a building permit (PDF, 35 KB) to contractor Bovis Lend Lease to commence a $2 million renovation of the campus' three-story "Powerhouse," located at the center of the complex, just north of the water tower.

The job description on the permit is for "Ben Bensons Steakhouse—Upfit at the Powerhouse building." The cost of the job is given at $1,968,507. Construction activity has been under way at the site for months, and currently the building appears to be gutted. There is no visible signage at the site.

Despite the clear language on the building permit, it's not clear that Ben Benson's will open any time soon. Heather Gray, project manager for American Tobacco Power House, the owner of the building, would say only that the building was intended for "office and retail" and that there were no confirmed tenants.

A spokesman for Ben Benson's—which has only one store, located in the heart of New York's midtown theater district—also said that plans to expand to Durham were not finalized. Contrary to recent reports, he said, the opening has been "put off."

Observers of the developing American Tobacco district and the adjacent Durham Performing Arts Center have long known of plans to lure an upscale steakhouse to the district. During a June tour of DPAC given to Indy writers and editors, a spokesman spoke of plans to create a "Broadway experience" for visitors to the facility's touring musicals, which will be booked by Nederlander.

Ben Benson's Steakhouse is located at 123 W. 52nd St. in Manhattan. A longtime favorite of athletes—Yankees pitcher David Wells celebrated there after pitching his perfect game in 1998—the restaurant's menu is heavy on beef and lobster. On the upper end of the dinner prices, the double porterhouse that Wells is said to have consumed costs $97.

Bovis Lend Lease is the huge British construction firm that has previously worked on many Triangle projects, including the North Hills Mall and part of the Diamond View complex adjacent to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Durham County



Twitter Activity

Comments

The crumpled hulk should be sent to the Smithstonian or the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham. Eventually, it will be …

by William Turnier on How Much Is a Confederate Monument Worth? (Durham County)

Thanks for this article, Indy and SarahW. I appreciate this important exhibit being brought to my attention. As another new …

by Mr_JT on A New Exhibit Lays Bare How White Privilege Has Influenced Durham’s Past and Present (Durham County)

Most Recent Comments

The crumpled hulk should be sent to the Smithstonian or the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham. Eventually, it will be …

by William Turnier on How Much Is a Confederate Monument Worth? (Durham County)

Thanks for this article, Indy and SarahW. I appreciate this important exhibit being brought to my attention. As another new …

by Mr_JT on A New Exhibit Lays Bare How White Privilege Has Influenced Durham’s Past and Present (Durham County)

I was proud to be in the streets with these and many other hundreds of wonderful Durhamites to show our …

by Ruby Sinreich on The Radicals Who Toppled a Confederate Monument Have Sparked a National Conversation. But Who Are They? (Durham County)

It makes me sincerely proud! Tons of respect to those who are struggling against the state right now. I may …

by Jaydeeh on The Radicals Who Toppled a Confederate Monument Have Sparked a National Conversation. But Who Are They? (Durham County)

Just makes me proud to see my hometown becoming a haven for Marxists. (NOT)! …

by Barbara 2 on The Radicals Who Toppled a Confederate Monument Have Sparked a National Conversation. But Who Are They? (Durham County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation