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.

  • Upscale steakhouse proposed as part of 'Broadway experience'

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

Just FYI: Your caption doesn't match the photo at the top.

by December27 on By the Time You Read This, ICE Might Have Shipped Durham Resident Wendy Miranda Fernandez Back to El Salvador—Perhaps to Her Death (Durham County)

Actually, her record is public record and it was NOT her first time in jail. Nor her second. She has …

by Brandy Lee on Reuniting Fourteen Durham Families, Black Mama's Day Bail Out Aims to Reform the State's Racially Biased Ransom Demands (Durham County)

Most Recent Comments

Just FYI: Your caption doesn't match the photo at the top.

by December27 on By the Time You Read This, ICE Might Have Shipped Durham Resident Wendy Miranda Fernandez Back to El Salvador—Perhaps to Her Death (Durham County)

Actually, her record is public record and it was NOT her first time in jail. Nor her second. She has …

by Brandy Lee on Reuniting Fourteen Durham Families, Black Mama's Day Bail Out Aims to Reform the State's Racially Biased Ransom Demands (Durham County)

I would love to see the followup to this snowflake fairy tale and find out how many of the people …

by Mike Moore on Reuniting Fourteen Durham Families, Black Mama's Day Bail Out Aims to Reform the State's Racially Biased Ransom Demands (Durham County)

The cartoon is wrong;
bullet that shattered femur came first, from behind;
the bullet through TOP of skull …

by Chris Tiffany on An Autopsy Appears to Contradict the Durham Police Department’s Account of How Frank Clark Died (Durham County)

If he's here without papers he broke the law. Stop portraying illegals as innocents

by appraisol on A Durham Man With No Criminal Record Was Arrested by ICE for Being in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time (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