“A decade ago, downtown Durham, N.C., looked forlorn and empty. Storefronts and old tobacco buildings stood vacant, and street life was virtually nonexistent. “Everybody had fled to the suburbs or the Research Triangle,” said Scott Selig, associate vice president of Capital Assets and Real Estate at Duke University. “Literally 500 people were living there. The whole town was a ghost town.” No more. Those old buildings like the American Tobacco plant are packed with restaurants, retail, music venues, startups and established companies.
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