While government meetings are generally stultifying, there are two community gatherings next week that everyone with an interest in affordable housing and development in Durham should attend.
On Tuesday, Sept. 23, The Coalition for Affordable Housing & Transit will host a meeting about development around the proposed light rail station on South Buchanan Boulevard, which is in the up-and-coming West End neighborhood.
The good news about light rail and public transit in general, is that it can open up employment opportunities for people without cars. It also reduces pollution.
The tricky part is that development around the transit stations—which should be for affordable housing—often is not. Exhibit A in how this can go wrong is Whetstone apartments, which overlook the Durham Transit Center.
Instead, development can favor the better-heeled, thus raising rents and displacing residents and businesses.
The meeting will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 810 W. Chapel Hill St., at 6 p.m. You can also fill out a survey
conducted by Go Triangle, the regional transit system
. More info: LorisaSeibel@gmail.com, 919-801-6863.
And now for something completely different, on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m., the Duke Real Estate Club
is hosting the heavy-hitters of Durham development in a panel called "Innovative Development in Durham." The event is open to the public.
The panelists include
- Greg Hills, president of Austin Lawrence Partners, which is constructing the 26-story City Center Tower and renovating several historic buildings on Main and Parrish streets; read the INDY's stories about the plan. "Tower of power" and "The Jack Tar motel: the history and future of a Durham landmark".
- Scott Harmon, local architect and developer who is developing eight condos on the East Side of downtown Durham;
- Josh Parker, director of development for Life Sciences REIT Wexford Science and Technology. That company is converting the old Chesterfield Building at Main and Duke streets into research and development space.
- Scott Selig, Duke University's Associate VP of Capital Assets, will presenting Duke's real estate strategy in Durham and beyond. Duke occupies 950,000 square feet of office space downtown, and is slated to claim 55,000 square feet in the new City Center tower.
- Rick Bagel of Wetrock Resources is developing Wetrock farm, a proposed 140-unit conservation subdivision in Northern Durham County that will feature an organic farm amenity for residents.
The meeting will be held on Duke's West Campus in the French Science Center, Room 2231. Park in the Bryan Center lot.