Durham, N.C. — Business owners and local leaders are pushing back on a developer’s wish to turn a city-owned parking deck in downtown Durham into a tower of apartment buildings.
The CEO of Carolina Theatre Randy McKay said he is “strongly opposed” to the proposed development due to the impact it will have on parking for events at the threatre.
The city’s parking deck is at 300 West Morgan Street, in the heart of downtown Durham, across from the Theatre.
McKay said he has been in talks with developers Craig Davis Properties (CDP) for a year and does not feel like his concerns over parking will be addressed.
Developers believe the proposed development entitled “The James” would be the tallest building in downtown Durham.
“We have always believed that the site could be improved,” said Earl Guill, CDP’s vice president of development. “And, we felt the best way to do this was to actually remove part of the deck and build anew with a new parking structure on the west half.
“It’s basically half of the block.”
McKay wrote in a letter to the Durham City Council that this project will “jeopardize the viability of Carolina Theatre.”
City documentation shows CDP has prepared an unsolicited proposal to purchase the Durham City Centre Parking Deck at 300 West Morgan St. to develop a multi-family residential unit and retail tower. CDP already owned the air rights above the parking deck.
“This is going to be a game-changer,” Guill said.
In addition to the $5 million purchase price, CDP is offering a contribution of $650,000 to the Affordable Housing Fund to enable production of six affordable housing units elsewhere in the city.
The Durham City Council is due to hear an update on CDP’s proposal, entitled “The James,” during its Thursday afternoon meeting.
On Monday, WRAL News asked Guill about the concerns some people have about parking in Durham. He said the plan is to develop the area to help drivers find parking already there.
“We don’t feel like there is really a parking problem,” Guill said of the parking near 300 West Morgan St.
The Durham Centre Parking Deck was built in 1987 with a three-story, 719-space parking deck that is owned and operated by the city of Durham.
Read the full article here