Hopefully I’m not spamming y’all :) I overlooked this one originally because I incorrectly assumed it was the new residential development at the corner of Rigsbee and Corporation (where the Pickleback bar is currently). When I actually looked into it, this is the current site of JR Auto Repair directly next to Fullsteam. The development request filed last month describes the project as 49 residential units with ~2000 square feet of restaurant/retail. This area will be truly unrecognizable in the coming years.
TBJ had a brief snapshot of this project today. Not much in the way of additional details but it will be a 6 story building. There is a rendering of the project as well. Same group is doing this project and the project at the corner of Rigsbee/Corporation.
I thought it was interesting that the TBJ article refers to it as a project for "downtown Durham." Not saying I disagree, but I don't think that I've noticed media using that distinction for the Geer St area.
It’s definitely interesting to observe the effective footprint of “downtown” expanding. Previously you had these “pockets” of activity that were fairly disconnected that are starting to be pieced together by infill development. Thinking Geer St, Brightleaf and even ATC to some extent. Future downtown looks to basically be bound by Brightleaf to the west, Geer St to the north, 147 to the south and Fayetteville to the east. Beyond those boundaries are some obvious obstacles to additional expansion: primarily residential neighborhoods, Duke and major roadways. Makes sense that there has been a bit of a mad dash to claim parcels within that footprint over the last few years.
I think there is potential that the main street corridor could develop sufficiently to create a thin link from brightleaf to ninth street and beyond. In the east, Golden belt has already leapt over Fayetteville and there is potential to develop down main and Angier closer to the east durham mini downtown area. If not for 147, the area where Lakewood Ave and Duke Street meet could be the southern boundary.
I consider the Central Park/Rigsbee area downtown now, but would love for that neighborhood to fill more connected to the 5 points/CCB plaza area. Developing the YMCA property and the large parking lot between it and the park would go a long way. Making W. Morgan two way would help a lot too.
Same could be said for 5 Points/CCB plaza and ATC. Such a short walk that needs to be more pedestrian friendly, especially with all the new apartments going in and ATC 2 breaking ground soon on that side of the tracks. Again, need to make the downtown loop two way and maybe find a cool way to connect the Durham Belt Line and ATT trail.
I also think Old Five Points will eventually be developed with all the new condos going in on Mangum. So much potential for those store fronts to extend the downtown footprint even further.
I think the biggest issue with connecting Brightleaf to the Broad/9th area is that a significant stretch of Main is sandwiched directly between the railroad tracks and Duke campus. So there’s really nothing you can do there. Agree that extending east would be great, especially with Golden Belt as an anchor already in place. Hopefully the city looks into some ways to create better connectivity with crossing over Fayetteville in particular. I’m fine with just crossing as an individual but not sure how comfortable I would feel with a family. There’s a ton of traffic and people drive like maniacs.