Brightleaf Square

Brightleaf Square, a popular shopping, eating and gathering place, opened in late 1981 in the former Watts and Yuille tobacco warehouses at Main and Gregson streets. The new mall was an immediate hit with the public, adding retail and office space to the long-established restaurant and bar district between downtown Durham and Duke University's East Campus.

The American Tobacco Co. built the warehouses between 1900 and 1904 and named them for company executives George Washington Watts and Thomas Yuille. After Carrboro's Carr Mill textile factory was successfully converted to a multi-purpose mall in the early 1970s, Durham entrepreneurs Terry Sanford Jr. and Clay Hamner bought the twin warehouses and renovated them; their SEHED Corp. later remodeled a portion of the Erwin Mill complex in West Durham for offices as well as carrying out several other major building projects in and around the city.
Gregson StreetMain Street