Downtown Durham high-rise to be discussed - WNCT

Downtown Durham high-rise to be discussed

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DURHAM, N.C. -

Durham residents are getting ready to speak out about a proposed downtown high-rise that would be built along Main Street.

Austin Lawrence Partners purchased the site along Main, Corcoran and Parrish Streets to construct a 26-story mixed-use building that will incorporate and preserve five historic facades.

The developers plan for the building to contain 60 percent residential space and 40 percent office and retail, including shops on the ground floor.

"Holy Moley!" That was the reaction of one area resident when WNCN's Steve Sbraccia showed him artists rendering of how the tower would look along the skyline and at street level.

But despite that initial reaction, David Therell says the concept of the project sits well with him.

"As long as it's going to be complacent to buildings and blend in, I think it'll be a great idea, especially to have more businesses moving in," he said.

Austin Lawrence Partners says it will work closely with the historic preservation commission and that pleases some area residents.

"It's progress and I'm delighted with everything that's going on here in Durham," said Renee Rand, who lives in an apartment that will be very near the new complex.

Others who live in that part of downtown say the prospect of a livelier street scene is appealing to them.

"If you look around, a lot of the buildings are boarded up and it could be a lot better," said area resident Travis Poole. "We need some more action going on around here."

The prospect of more apartments in the downtown excites some who already live here, if the price is right.

"Is it affordable apartments for people like me who can't afford $2,000 a month or is it for all ranges of different kinds of people?" asked Rob MacNeill.

The public is invited to discuss the proposal at a neighborhood group meeting on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Carrack Modern Gallery at 111 W. Parrish Street.

  • DIG DEEPER: Learn more about the proposed high rise by clicking here to take you to the developer's web site. 

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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