Please review the FAQs below. If you have a question which is not listed, use the contact form to ask your question.
What is the timeline for this project?
Many factors can affect the timeline. We submitted the zoning changes late 2016. The city plans to review the request at the Feb 14th 2017 meeting. We hope the zoning will be approved by spring 2017 and construction start 2018.
What is the mix use development all about?
It blends residential and retail uses and provides pedestrian connections. We are planning a Publix with a pharmacy (they signed a lease agreement contingent on city rezoning approval), additional stores and quality homes up to 1800 square feet. The retail component will be on the western half of the site near Guess Rd., with the residential development on the eastern side, adjacent to other neighborhood areas.
When will we know for sure if Publix or other stores make a commitment?
Several properties are currently under contract, contingent upon the rezoning of the proposed mix use plat. Publix has also signed a lease agreement, contingent upon the rezoning approval.
Are surveys and assessments complete?
We've completed topographic, tree and environmental surveys and a developed storm water management plan. Traffic studies are complete as well. The proposal will conform to city requirements of buffers and setbacks around perimeters and storefronts.
Does the proposed mix use development comply with Durham’s Comprehensive Plan?
The proposed mix use development complies with the Durham Comprehensive Plan. According to Policy 2.3.1g of the Durham Comprehensive Plan, a mix use development is compatible with any Future Land Use designation in every tier except the Rural Tier. This project is located in the Suburban Tier. Therefore, only a rezoning is required and no amendment to the Durham Comprehensive Plan is necessary.
How will this affect my home value?
Local appraiser Jarvis Martin conducted a study of other recent developments in Durham and the surrounding areas. His findings show a grocery store did not have a negative impact on either the property values or the amount of time required to sell a home within a half mile of such a development. In fact, such an establishment had a positive impact on home values and days on the market.
How will the development affect local traffic?
Currently improvements could be from Guess Road to Gatewood Drive. Latta will be upgraded to a three-lane cross-section so drivers turning south into the mix use development or north on to Autumn Drive and Green Oak Drive will not impede through traffic. In addition, there will be dual left-turn lanes from Latta to south-bound Guess Road. Sidewalks will be along the south side of Latta Road for the extent of the mix use project (approximately 1,200 feet).
- We expect road improvements on Latta Road will alleviate some of the congestion at the intersections of Latta and Autumn, Latta and Green Oak, and Latta and Gatewood.
- NCDOT will not approve any additional traffic signals east of Guess Road because traffic volume will not warrant a new signal to the east of Guess Road. We will continue to investigate this issue with our on-going traffic study.
- We expect by increasing the capacity on Latta Road, people will be incentivized to stay on Latta Road and not cut through smaller neighborhood roads.
- Our team will investigate the feasibility of installing speed bumps at appropriate locations north of Latta Road.
- The required traffic study looks primarily at the AM and PM “peak hours” which are considered 7 AM to 9 AM and 4 PM to 6 PM. We are investigating other improvements that can assist traffic flow at Easley Elementary during drop-off and dismissal times.
Are tax dollars paying for street improvements?
No! Halvorsen is invested in this project and willing to pay for all street improvements.
How will this impact Easley Elementary?
We are in communication with the principle of Easley Elementary and the school system superintendent of operations. We will work with them to make sure the school is not negatively impacted.
How will you accommodate pedestrian traffic from the school and surrounding area?
We are exploring pedestrian connections to assure the new development and existing homes on Latta can walk to school.
How many more children are expected to come to the area because of the development?
We need to obtain more data. We are anticipating up to 70 dwelling units; we will provide further information on this at our next neighborhood meeting.
How will Easley Elementary and other local schools handle the influx of new students?
Again, we do not know at this time how many new students are expected in the area as a result of this development. We will work on evaluating this before our next neighborhood meeting.
What steps will be taken during construction to ensure the safety of schoolchildren?
Safety is of the utmost importance during the construction phase. Appropriate measures will be in place whether it is fencing or other security measures.
Will there be fencing between the development and the school property?
The development will be designed with appropriate safety measures to ensure that the students and staff at the school property are protected. We hope to have additional information on this issue to share at our next neighborhood meeting.
Is it possible to make sure that deliveries do not occur during Easley Elementary drop off or pick up times?
The development team will work on this issue and present its findings at the next neighborhood meeting.
Will this affect the local environment?
Durham’s environmental regulations are some of the most protective in the State of North Carolina. For example, post-development runoff for the 1-year storm from the site can be no greater than pre-development. At this stage, we cannot give you specifics on what storm water management devices will be installed, but we will continue to analyze this issue and we will try to have more complete information at the next neighborhood meeting.
What happens to the wildlife at the development location?
No federally protected species were found in the development area.
How are trash and debris from the businesses going to be managed?
This is a major concern for both Halvorsen Development and Publix as a site with litter is unappealing. Both have high standards for cleanliness and appearance.
How will light pollution be managed?
The developer will follow the Durham Unified Development Ordinance with regard to lighting.
What will hours of operation be at Publix and the rest of the shops in the development?
We do not know the specific hours of operations; however, Publix does not operate 24 hours. We also do not know what other restaurants and shops will be within the proposed mixed use development at this time. We will evaluate this and provide an update at the next neighborhood meeting.
Why does this area need another grocery store?
Both Halvorsen and Publix studied the area and believe it to be under served, particularly with regard to a quality grocer with the stature of Publix. The area north and west of the mix use development is under served and will benefit from a Publix in this location. Moreover, this development is not just a grocery store. North Durham lacks a mix use community with the level of accessibility to goods and services that this development will provide.
Rather than develop vacant land, why not make use of empty retail space?
Again, this development is not solely about the grocery store. Publix is a key element of the development; however, there are many other components to this development. Moreover, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to incorporate elements like an extensive network of sidewalks and quality open spaces in an already existing shopping center. By our assessment, those vacant retail spaces are vacant for a reason, such as poor tenant mix or location challenges.
What is being done to prevent crime in the area?
In our experience, high quality mix use developments deter crime by bringing more active neighbors to the area in order to increase observation and reporting of any suspicious activity.
How extensive will the sidewalk network be, particularly along Latta?
The development will provide a new, approximately 1,200-foot long sidewalk on Latta along our development’s boundary. There also will be a network of sidewalks within the development representing one of its key features as a mixed use development. Outside of the development, we are limited to what we can commit to, as we will not own any land beyond the development.