Durham, North Carolina — A municipal parking lot in downtown Durham could soon be converted into apartments.
Developers at Craig Davis Properties (CDP) believe the proposed development, titled ‘The James’, will be the tallest building in downtown Durham.
Earl Guill, vice president of development at CDP, said: “And we felt that the best way to do this was to actually remove part of the deck and build a new parking structure anew on the western half.
“It’s basically half a block.”
City documents show that CDP has prepared an unsolicited proposal to purchase the Darham City Center Parking Deck at 300 West Morgan St. to develop multi-family residential units and retail towers. CDP already owned the air rights over the parking deck.
“This is going to be a game changer,” Guill said.
In addition to the $5 million purchase price, CDP will provide a $650,000 contribution to the Affordable Housing Fund to enable the production of six affordable housing units elsewhere in the city.
Durham City Council will hear an update on the CDP’s proposal, titled ‘The James’, at its Thursday afternoon meeting.
The developer is proposing 308 market rate units of studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units. The proposed development has 382 parking spaces. Guill estimates that the development will create about 200 permanent jobs.
“One of the main issues we have right now is parking,” said Third District Councilman Leonardo Williams. “From parking fees or availability.”
WRAL News asked Guill on Monday about the concerns some people have about parking in Durham. He said he plans to develop the area to help drivers find parking spots that are already there.
“I don’t feel there is a real parking problem,” Gill said of parking near 300 West Morgan Street.
The Durham Center Parking Deck was built in 1987 and is a three-story, 719-space parking deck owned and operated by the City of Durham.
Williams noted how city leaders should consider adding more housing stock to account for the growth in the area.
“For the time being, I support [of the proposal]but I’m looking forward to actually delving into all the details and conditions that come with this project,” Williams said.
CDP’s proposal does not include the demolition of the Duke CRI Building. The proposal only calls for “parcel west”.
Mark Wilson, who lives in downtown Durham, believes more housing will help keep prices down.
I don’t want people to fall into the trap of ‘I’m just building buildings for the sake of building buildings,'” Wilson said.
Two weeks ago Maddie Huzar just moved from Washington DC to downtown Durham.
“I think [there are] There are pros and cons,” said Huszar. “Whenever my friends come downtown for a night out, I know it’s very difficult to find parking.
“But after finding a new apartment, housing is always needed almost everywhere.”
Huszar said he enjoys the atmosphere of his new home.
“As it grows, I hope we don’t forget where the community is,” Huszar said. feels very small there.
“But Durham, I feel like there’s community everywhere so far. So hopefully we don’t lose that as it continues to grow.”