Q. What type of development is planned for 751 South?
A. It will be a true, mixed-use community, incorporating uses ranging from single-family homes to apartments, retail shops and markets, cafes and restaurants, offices, one or two schools, park settings and civic sites. Approximately one-third of the 164 acres making up 751 South will be open space and buffers, preserving specimen trees in environmentally sensitive areas.
Q. Who is the developer?
A. Southern Durham Development (SDD) will be the principal developer of 751 South. The local firm’s two partners are Alex Mitchell, who lives in Durham very close to Jordan Lake and Tyler Morris, who lives in Raleigh. Mitchell and Morris have more than 30 years of collective construction and development experience. They also have a fine track record of environmental sensitivity and responsible execution. They are both partners in The Landing at Southpoint located on Hwy 751. The Landing at Southpoint was the first “LEED for Homes” multi-family project with more than 50 units in the United States .
Q. What impact will this development have on traffic along Highway 751?
A. While 751 South will undoubtedly create a higher vehicle count in the area, there is nonetheless an attractive traffic improvement aspect to the development of 751 South.
Unlike many single-family developments, 751 South is required to perform a traffic impact analysis (TIA). The results of the TIA identify all intersections that will be impacted after the project is completed. After our TIA is conducted, SDD will be obligated to bring all affected intersections to a passing grade.
At this time, many of these intersections are already failing and no monies for improvement are currently allocated by the city or state to bring them up to grade.
However, upon completion, many intersections stretching from Grandale and Barbee roads all the way to Farrington and Stagecoach roads will be improved by SDD at an estimated cost of $6.5 million.
Unfortunately, right now we have a series of failing intersections that can be brought to passing grade only by the intervention of private development. When these improvements are made by SDD, the traffic throughout the affected area will move more efficiently.
Q. What impact will 751 South have on overcrowding in schools in the area?
A. As many of you know, the Durham school system is experiencing overcrowding. The Durham Public School System has been searching for new school sites in southern Durham County for more than a decade. We are proud to say that SDD has decided to donate attractive sites for at least one and possibly two new elementary or middle schools. On Sept. 25, 2008, the Durham County Public School Board passed a unanimous resolution accepting these donations. We believe that giving back to the community is a part of responsible development. When built, either or both of these projected schools will draw children from the area between Creekside and Parkwood, relieving some of the student population pressure on these schools.
Q. What impact will 751 South have on the environment and Jordan Lake?
A. SDD has assembled nationally-known experts to assist in the development of 751 South, including highly regarded conservation planner Randall Arendt of Rhode Island and ecological designer Kathy Poole of Baltimore. We are determined that the impact on Jordan Lake and the surrounding environment will be minimal.
Through low-impact stormwater management, sustainable design, and similar measures, 751 South will produce a nitrogen level of about 600 pounds a year. By way of comparison, that is 62 pounds less than a “conservation subdivision”, 134 pounds fewer than would be produced by pasture land, and 1,668 pounds fewer than typically produced by an organic vegetable farm. On our website at www.southerndurhamdevelopment.com, we have precisely quantified the impact of 751 South and invite your attention to those details.
Q. What benefits will 751 South bring to the Durham community? What impact might it have on our properties’ value?
A. Durham community residents will live very close to a world-class, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development offering attractive retail, desirable office space and about 55 acres of open, green area. There will be clear benefit for CR from SDD’s donation of school sites, a fire station site and space for a new sheriff’s substation.
We firmly believe that 751 South will be a positive addition to the property value appreciation trend occurring in southern Durham since Southpoint came into being. While we don’t have the luxury of making guarantees, there is reason to believe that the land in the 751 South area will continue to increase in value, as long as high quality amenities are being put into place. Our 20-year view of the region is one of continuing increase in property appreciation.
Q. What direct economic impact can we expect 751 South to have on Durham?
A. Based on economic studies conducted by AECOM, a widely-recognized consulting firm, 751 South is expected to generate an estimated $8 million in new taxes for the City of Durham and Durham County. The same research estimates 2,980 new jobs with an annual labor income of $154.2 million will result from 751 South. As we all know, new jobs will be required for our nation to have an economic recovery in the next few years.
As noted earlier, SDD will make approximately $6.5 million worth of traffic corridor improvements and donate the improved land for school(s), a fire station and a sheriff’s substation. The value of these donations is estimated to be about $6 million. Also, the entire cost of the city’s expansion of sewer and water services to 751 South will be paid by SDD, not taxpayers.
Q. What open space will be set aside at 751 South that Durham residents might use?
A. About one-third of 751 South’s 164 acres will remain as permanent open space. The property’s most notable stands of specimen trees are included in these preservation areas. We have designed a community enhanced by green space with the hope that it will be mutually enjoyed by 751 South residents and our visitors. Durham community residents will be able to take advantage of much closer access to the “Eagle Spur Trail” and therefore gain easier access to Jordan Lake.
Q. What type of retail tenants will come to 751 South? Will there be “big box” stores like Walmart or Best Buy?
A. 751 South will attract regional cafes, boutiques and some specialty franchise stores, all designed to offer an exciting shopping experience. Large stores like Best Buy and Target are not part of the design and will not come to 751 South. However, our plan does include a grocery store.
Q. What special considerations have been given to the Durham community?
A. Most importantly, the Durham community is our neighbor and we care about the people who live there. About two years ago, we began receiving suggestions and feedback from Durham residents as we attended multiple meetings with residents, the homeowners’ association boards and a special committee designed to assess the impact of 751 South.
Based on what we heard, SDD completely redesigned the layout of 751 South, moving the retail portion much farther south and placing the school properties across from the Durham community. We also created a buffer across from the Durham resident’s townhomes with about 150 feet of trees, three times the code requirement for such a buffer. We listened to Durham residents then and we will continue to do so.