DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The old Durham Police Headquarters at 505 West Chapel Hill Street has been vacant for almost four years, and city council still has not decided what to do with the property. 

While city council members have discussed turning it into affordable housing, its members still have not decided on a company to redevelop it. 

According to a city memo dated Aug. 1, 2022, two companies, Akridge and Ancora, recently made offers to redevelop the property. 

While both companies planned to put in at least 80 affordable housing units as well as preserve the Milton Small Building on site, city staff said in the memo its offer was lower than anticipated.  

As a result, city staff is recommending the council reject both proposals, according to the memo. 

CBS 17 reached out to Durham Mayor Pro Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton about this recommendation from staff. 

“I take the staff’s recommendations very seriously,” Middleton said. “We really need to get this project right rather than quick.” 

However, with development booming downtown, CBS 17 asked Middleton if he is concerned about this city-owned property becoming an eyesore. 

“No, as you said, it’s been sitting there for awhile,” Middleton said. “The thing about this project is we’re under no timetable. While that project is sitting there, we have other projects going on, so it’s not like we’re twiddling our thumbs. We have other affordable housing projects in the pipeline.” 

CBS 17 spoke with other people in the area who said they think the parking lot around the old police department’s headquarters is already becoming an eyesore, however. 

“It’s a big hot parking lot and it’s not pleasant to walk through,” James Popin said, who lives downtown. “It’s a shame just to see it sit here.” 

Popin is trained in architecture, and he is concerned time could be running out to save the Milton Small building. 

“I think the longer the building sits vacant, the more water is going to be inside and the harder it gets to save and the more likely it is it will get torn down,” Popin said. “It would be really wonderful to see this really nice site develop and be something better than what it is now.” 

Durham City Council will hear city staff’s recommendations for the site at its next city council work session scheduled for Tuesday, July 26 at 2 p.m.