Nearly a decade later, Durham land known as Fayette Place remains vacant

Monday, April 24, 2017
Fayette Place an eyesore near downtown Durham
Fayette Place has been an eyesore for nearly a decade.

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Years of frustration about a vacant piece of land in Durham are mounting among neighbors.

The 20-acre property, known as Fayette Place, has been sitting undeveloped for nearly a decade.


Durham residents weigh in on Fayette Place future.

The once vibrant area, just blocks away from a bustling downtown, is filled with overgrown weeds and crumbling concrete slabs.

Durham minister Mike Broadway remembers a time when residents there flourished.

Brenda Bradsher's family has lived around Fayette Place for four generations.

Brenda Bradsher's family has lived around Fayette Place for four generations.

"It was a thriving area. Everybody owned their own homes. The kids would come out to play," she said.

The homes were eventually torn down, and years later, a public housing complex was built in their place.

In 2007, the Durham Housing Authority forced out residents and sold the land to Philadelphia-based Campus Apartments.

But plans to turn it into affordable housing for NC Central University students never materialized, and the buildings were later leveled.

"We kept waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting to see what would happen, and nothing happened," Bradsher said.

A spokesperson for the development company told ABC11 in a statement, "Campus Apartments has always been open to discussing potential development opportunities at Fayette Place, unfortunately, there are no plans to build on the property at this time. When we purchased the property, we had every intention to develop affordable student housing in partnership with N. C. Central University; however, the original plan did not come to fruition. Campus Apartments then made a significant investment to remove the dilapidated structures and secure the property. We understand the community's desire to develop the property and appreciate local community feedback."

According to the agreement, DHA has the option to repurchase the property by August 2017 if Campus Apartments does not deliver on its promise.

A public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Monument of Faith Church in Durham.

About 400-500 residents including the CEO of DHA and several city council members are expected to attend.

As the deadline looms, Broadway wants city leaders to stand up for its residents.

"People feel that they are ignored, that the city has abandoned their neighborhood," Broadway said.

"This area will one way or another be developed," he added, "so our goal is that it be developed with the good of its residents in mind."

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