DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – On Monday, Durham city leaders discussed requirements that developers should try to meet when looking to revamp the old police headquarters lot.
It’s the next step in a years-long effort to revitalize the four-acre prime downtown location owned by the city at 505 W. Chapel Hill St.
The search has narrowed to six developers qualified to take on the task. Ideas for the area include housing, offices, green space, a restoration of the old police headquarters, and potentially a hotel.
On Monday, a coalition of local housing advocates suggested the city give more weight to developer plans with larger numbers of affordable housing.
“We can’t have city workers and county workers and school teachers who cannot live in Durham. Here is an opportunity,” speaker Stella Adams said.
The majority of city leaders agreed to score developers’ plans on a scale, with any proposals that come in that include more than 90 affordable housing units ranked the highest. Then, any proposals with 80 to 90 affordable housing units will score second-highest.
Council members also set 250,000 square feet as the amount of commercial space they’re asking potential planners to develop on the lot.
Mayor Pro Tempore Mark-Anthony Middleton said that space could include anything from offices, to a museum and other amenities desired by the community.
“Some of the organizations that asked for more than 80 [affordable housing] units tonight also asked for space for artists and non-profits. That’s part of the 250,000 square feet,” Middleton said. “They also asked for a grocery store that’s part of the 250,000 square feet.”