Rally planned to bring attention to Durham abandoned property

DURHAM, N.C. – Some Durham residents say they are tired of looking out their front doors to see long-abandoned property.

While there has been progress in downtown Durham over the years with new apartments, hotels and restaurants, at least one section of the city isn’t getting much attention.

Members of the community are preparing a rally to raise awareness about the issue.

“It looks almost as if it was bombed and just left,” said Bishop Clarence Laney Jr., rally organizer for Durham CAN (Congregations, Associations, Neighborhoods).

The property that raises the concern is a 20 acre-stretch of land off Fayetteville Street near W.G. Pearson Magnet School that has been abandoned for 12 years.

“It makes our property value and our property look bad,” said neighbor Michelle Winters, who has lived across the street from the property since 1993.

“I think it’s so unfair because this is not a bad neighborhood,” she said. “Even though a lot of people think you live in the hood, I don’t consider it the hood, I consider it home.”

CBS North Carolina reached out to the owners of the property, Campus Apartments, to find out why the land has not been developed but no one returned our calls.

“Certain residents don’t have a voice,” Bishop Laney said. “Certain communities in Durham are not important.”

Durham CAN is asking for resources to get rid of what its members call an eyesore.

“With the millions and millions of dollars that’s been poured into downtown, with the upscale apartments, as well as hotels, some of that money should be funneled into this community so that we can be a part of the redevelopment as well,” Bishop Lancey said.

Organizers say they are expecting hundreds of people for the Durham CAN rally at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 27.

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