Quick Hits: University Hill

Quick hits are posts about development news as I hear about them! If you have feedback on the format, please share in the comments below!

University Hill

Business 15-501 (North of Hope Valley, South of Duke Forest)

15 Acres, 300,000 sq ft of mixed use space

Purchase Price:
$1 million

Estimated Cost:
$40 million

Expected Completion Date:
Fall/Winter 2019

269 apartments, 30,000 sq ft O2 Fitness club, restaurant, retail, and office space - will also include 25,000 sq ft of murals from NC artists

Hawthorne Retail Partners

First of all, I would be VERY surprised if this is complete by the end of 2019, as this is a huge project. Construction delays aside, this will change the look and density of University Dr in a big way. For a very long time, the property has been an empty slab of concrete.

This new University Hill Development is interesting. It certainly isn't "Durham gritty", so it doesn't seem to add a lot to the identity of the city. The addition of mural space is kind of nice, but feels forced ("look, we are connecting with the community"). However, it does add density and amenities. Best of all, it doesn't (directly) displace anyone because there is nobody living here currently. Personally, I am probably not as excited about this project as some people are (similar to my lack of excitement about a place like Patterson Place), but I am not vehemently opposed to it as others likely are (I would rather have University Hill than a large empty block of concrete).

Overall, I think this is a net positive for Durham in an area that will likely never become more walkable/bikeable.

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