I'm not sure how far outside of the city we tend to focus our gaze here on this forum. This is in Durham county but it isn't in "the *city* of Durham"; although, we have talked about stuff happening on 15-501 between Durham and CH and I'm personally also interested in stuff happening in RTP and the greater Triangle area.
A developer with a growing portfolio of major projects throughout the state is moving forward with plans for a mixed-use development in Imperial Center near Research Triangle Park.
The county approved site plans earlier this spring. Woodfield Investments, developer of the BullHouse Apartments, plans to bring 279 apartment units and 1,200 square feet of retail space to 5321 Page Road in Durham. Apartments will be spread across seven buildings ranging from two to four stories high. Plans also include a clubhouse, pool and carwash.
The timeline for the project is unclear and company representatives did not return requests for comment.
Apartments and retail space will be spread across seven buildings ranging from two to four stories high.
Woodfield Investments purchased the property in 2018 for $7.2 million from Crown Realty & Development. Crown paid $1.887 million for the land in 2012.
Last year, Woodfield Investments Partner Scott Underwood said the company was drawn to the site for its proximity to area companies and job opportunities. “Not to mention accessibility to the interstate and the airport,” Underwood said last year. “It’s just a really well-located piece of land.”
So they call this a "mixed use" development, but it includes only 1,200 square feet of retail space? Is that a typo? How are they going to split up 1,200 sq./ft of retail space amoung 6-7 buildings? I wonder if they are trying to pass off the apartment complex's leasing office as "retail space". If not, 1,200 sq./ft would be better than nothing certainly. I'm familiar with the area--it has decent sidewalks but it's mostly office buildings with huge parking lots, so any retail here wouldn't likely get much foot traffic. Maybe 1,200 sq./ft is all the area could support right now? And the absence of smaller retail spaces is often given as a reason that most mixed-use development doesn't allow for the participation of small, local businesses. (Office space/apartment rental companies are more interested in having one or two large companies that are guaranteed to pay their rent as retail tenants rather than managing 20 small businesses each with their own leases and unique needs).
MItch - I agree that RTP is a really interesting area. Here is this collection of office parks that really hit the nail on the head for what was popular in the 80's and 90's and flourished. Now, companies trend towards wanting to locate downtown.
But as you mentioned, in the Triangle, there is also a pull to try to recruit talent from all of the Triangle, so to that end, RTP might be appealing and it sounds like they are trying to capitalize on that by making more walkable, "new urbanism" moves in the area.
Honestly, I don't know how it will go. I think Boxyard RTP sounds really interesting. I also wonder if sputtering along might be a good thing in the long run. Big suburban developments, office parks, and malls all relied on building an entire area to a finished state over time and so they got old all at once as well. But I do like the idea of a 50 year time horizon that you suggest.
To me, the question is: will the many people moving to this area ONLY want to live as close to downtown as they can, or will a portion of them value a short commute to their job and are not all that interested in being close to downtown. maybe they are ok with walking to a 1200 SF coffee shop and driving to everything else. If so, maybe that population can create demand in the area to the point where a real walkable "center" of RTP is possible (more than just what's in the Park Center plan).
Regardless - absolutely fascinating to watch as it undergoes changes!