Renovation of Ninth Street building planned

May. 04, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

A renovation is planned for a building at Ninth Street and where West Markham Avenue turns into Hillsborough Road, according to an architect working on the project.

Architect Scott Harmon of Durham-based Center Studio Architecture said the plan is to update the structure at 764 and 762 Ninth St. to have two retail spaces on the ground floor and two residential spaces on the second floor.

“The building needs a lot of updating and repair, so we’ll be handling it just like we would a historic building in downtown, for example,” Harmon said in an email. “We’ll bring everything up to code, do structural repair, new roof, pretty extensive stuff.”

Harmon said the owner of the operating business at 762 Ninth St, A-1 Mail Shoppe wants to stay in the location.No agreement has been reached, however.

When reached by phone, an official at the business declined to give his name. He said he’s not planning to close the business. He said he plans to temporarily relocate during the renovation. 

The other space at 764 Ninth St. is empty, but once housed Stitch Doctor Embroidery.

Harmon said construction work on the building is expected to start in mid-to-late June, and to be done by the end of the year.

Project officials have submitted a site plan to Durham-City County Planning, but he doesn’t expect to get approval until August.

However, he said they can work on the renovation without the plan approval.

“I would say that the single largest factor in the decision to go ahead with this project is the fact that the economy has improved and we have good interest from a lender,” Harmon said.

Attempts to reach the owners of 764 and 762 Ninth St. were not successful last week.

The Ninth Street area has seen a flurry of new construction. New apartments are underway off Ninth, a hotel has opened near Ninth and Main, a Harris Teeter grocery store is operating off Ninth, and businesses including Panera Bread, Tijuana Flats, Pure Barre and Massage Envy have set up shop in renovated buildings.

A new Asian fusion restaurant called Juju is expected to open in the renovated space on the corner of Ninth and Hillsborough Road later this year.