Bill Kalkhof

A dreamer and a “doer”

Bill Kalkhof is the former President of Downtown Durham Inc and over the past 20 years led one of the most remarkable revitalization efforts you will find. If you were around the area in 1993, you will remember Durham as the ugly stepchild of the Triangle region. Empty, lifeless, moribund.

By any account, Downtown Durham is now thriving, and the numbers speak for themselves. Between 1993 and 2013, Downtown Durham has seen the following growth:
• 3,800 to 15,000 Employees

• 112 to 900+ Residential Units, with 700+ units under construction

• 1.1 Million to over 2.3 Million Annual Visitors

• Less than 1 Million SF of office space at 70% occupancy, to nearly 3 Million SF of office space at 93% occupancy

• 400+ hotel rooms under construction

• Total investment of over $1.3 Billion!

Bill was instrumental in brokering the catalytic public-private partnerships that have been so essential to the success of Downtown Durham’s revitalization. Examples include the Durham Bull’s Athletic Park, American Tobacco, West Village, Downtown Streetscapes, Durham Performing Arts Center, Venable Center, Golden Belt, Durham Central Park, Historic Durham Athletic Park Renovation, the Downtown YMCA and many more.

Bill has also been involved in the recruitment of almost every major downtown tenant over the last 20 years including McKinney, Duke, Burt’s Bees, and more.

Downtown now receives national attention and recognition, is home to one of the top-performing theaters in the world, and has growing reputation for being one of the creative class hot spots in the country!

Bill deserves a great deal of credit for being a galvanizing force behind the amazing progress that Downtown Durham has made and has been crucially important in helping change the face and image of Downtown, a feat few thought possible back in 1993.

-From Triangle CREW Impact Award Application