Durham, N.C. — A city-owned parking deck in downtown Durham could soon get turned into apartments.
City documentation shows Craig Davis Properties (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.
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.
The developer is proposing 308 market-rate units of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The proposed development would have 382 parking spaces.
“One of the main issues we have right now is parking,” said Ward 3 Councilmember Leonardo Williams. “From either the rates on parking, or just the availability.”
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.
Williams mentioned how city leaders must look at adding housing stock to account for the area’s growth.
“For now, I’m in support [of the proposal], but I do look forward to really combing through all of the details and conditions that come with this project,” Williams said.
CDP’s proposal does not include tearing down the Duke CRI Building. The proposal only calls for the “western part of the parcel.”
Downtown Durham resident Marc Wilson said he thinks more housing would help drive down prices.
“I don’t want them to fall into the trap where they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re just going to build buildings for the sake of building buildings,’” Wilson said.
Two weeks ago, Maddie Huszar just moved to downtown Durham from Washington, D.C.
“I think [there are] pros and cons both ways,” Huszar said. “I know that whenever my friends come downtown to go out for the night, parking is always really hard to find.
“But after having just gone through finding a new apartment, housing is always needed pretty much everywhere.”
Huszar said she’s enjoying the vibe her new home.
“I hope that just, as it grows, it doesn’t forget where the community is of it,” Huszar said. “That’s one thing I never really liked about how big DC is. You feel so small there.
“But Durham, it feels kind of like there is community everywhere, so far. So, I hope it doesn’t lose that as it continues to grow.”
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