Durham County

Public meeting set Monday to discuss Fayette Place future

Durham Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods (Durham CAN) will meet with City of Durham officials, the CEO of the Durham Housing Authority and executives from the for-profit Campus Apartments to discuss the future of Fayette Place at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, April 24 at Monument of Faith Church, 900 Simmons St.

The public is invited.

Durham CAN leaders will unveil results of a recent neighborhood audit they performed, and ask the city to address a series of items they have identified as needing attention.

The gathering will focus primarily on the immediate future of Fayette Place, a 20-acre blighted parcel of land in the center of the city. Fayette Place is owned by the for-profit Philadelphia-based Campus Apartments, one of the largest student housing developers in the nation.

Fayette Place, once owned by the Durham Housing Authority, has been vacant since the Durham Housing Authority sold the property in 2007 for $4 million to Campus Apartments. The sale was finalized with a legal promise to build affordable housing for students attending N.C. Central University.

The agreement includes a provision that allows DHA to repurchase the property before August 2017 if Campus Apartments doesn’t meet requirements that include the property having at least 168 beds rented by NCCU students or low-income individuals.

Durham CAN has been holding public meetings on the issue and recently demanded DHA exercise its legal right to repurchase the property, given Campus Apartments’ alleged lack of interest in meeting the legal terms of the agreement.

DHA CEO Anthony Scott has agreed to Durham CAN’s request to provide an accountability report on his promise to start legal action and repurchase the property. Durham CAN has also called on the City of Durham to assist DHA in purchasing the property.