Durham County leaders are looking to redevelop sites on the 300 and 500 blocks of East Main St. and affordable housing is a part of the conversation. July 17th was the first of three public comment meetings to discuss the possible plans for a new mixed-use site which will incorporate parking, commercial space, market-rate and affordable residential units.
The plans for the 500 block development of East Main Street is decided. The development will include 160 market-rate apartments ranging from studios to three-bedrooms in one building and will house 180 units of affordable housing in another with both buildings separated by a parking structure. The affordable housing units will be intended for people earning 30 percent to 80 percent of area median income (AMI). Public housing vouchers can be used for units priced at 30% AMI. The plan would also include almost 21,000 square feet of commercial space.
The 300 block is the part of the redevelopment in question. Currently, there are two plans on the table:
Plan A would include a total of 492 residential units: 152 market-rate units, including 400 sq ft micro-units, and 180 restricted and affordable housing units for households earning 30-80% AMI. This plan would also include 55,000 sq ft of commercial space and up to 1,970 county-owned parking spaces. A daycare would also be a part of this plan.
Plan B has fewer residential units, however more affordable housing units. Out of 437 residential units, 277 would be affordable to households earning 30-80% AMI. There would also be less commercial space at around 34,700 sq ft and fewer parking spaces.
Once the plans were explained, community members were split into smaller, more intimate groups for more focused discussion of opinions and if these plans fulfill the public’s interests. Many of the community members in attendance appreciated the amount of affordable housing units and questioned why so many parking spots were needed.
Durham County officials and UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government discuss the plans for the re-development on East Main St.
Durham County officials are taking the community’s opinions into account. There will be two more public comment meetings held before the commissioners decide on the final plan for the 300/500 block of East Main St. Let your voice be heard and attend one of the upcoming comment meetings.
Saturday, July 28th, 10:00am - 12:00pm, Criminal Justice Resource Center, 326 E. Main Street
Thursday, August 2nd, 5:30 - 7:30 PM, at Nehemiah Christian Center, 514 N. Mangum Street
If you cannot make it to the public comment meetings but would like to leave feedback for Durham County please visit www.dconc.gov/EmainSt and fill out a feedback form. To read more details about the project click here or here.