Durham County

Durham CAN seeks update on abandoned Fayette Place property

A padlock bars trespassers from the slabs that remain of the Fayette Place public housing project in the Hayti district after the Durham Housing Authority sold it in2007 to pay off debt. Durham CAN would like to see affordable housing tried again on the site.
A padlock bars trespassers from the slabs that remain of the Fayette Place public housing project in the Hayti district after the Durham Housing Authority sold it in2007 to pay off debt. Durham CAN would like to see affordable housing tried again on the site. mschultz@newsobserver,com

Delegates of Durham Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods plan to meet with Fayette Place stakeholders Monday to discuss the stalled project.

Durham CAN delegates will meet with city officials and Anthony Scott, chief executive officer of the the Durham Housing Authority, lead organizer Ivan Parra said. Executives from the for-profit, Philadelphia-based Campus Apartments have been invited, but haven’t confirmed, he said.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at Monument of Faith Church at 900 Simmons St. and is open to the public.

“Campus Apartments have demonstrated they lack interest and vision for this property and our community,” Clarence Laney, pastor of Monument of Faith Church, said in a news release.

“Their lack of interest has left the largest undeveloped property in the city,” he said. “One can be sure this kind of neglect doesn't happen at the rest of their luxury properties across the U.S.”

The future of Fayette Place will be the focus of the meeting, but CAN leaders will also unveil results of a recent neighborhood audit they performed and ask the city to address a series of items it identified.

For about 35 years, the 20-acre property housed the 200-unit Fayetteville Street public housing complex. In the early 2000s, DHA officials started to convert it into Fayette Place, a low-income housing development funded with tax credits. The development never happened.

In 2007, Campus Apartments agreed to pay the housing authority $4 million for Fayette Place. The agreement allowed the housing authority to repurchase the property if Campus Apartments failed to rent at least 168 beds to N.C. Central University students or to provide housing for low-income individuals.

The housing authority must exercise its option by August 2017.

Dan Hudgins, chair of the authority’s board, said last summer that the agency has asked the city for help repurchasing the property.

In July, CAN held a press conference calling for the authority to reacquire the vacant property, now marked by crumbling foundation slabs behind a chain-link fence. CAN officials have been meeting with authority officials monthly since then, Parra said.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges

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