Durham County leaders to hear public input tonight on development of 2 downtown areas

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham County leaders want your input when it comes to developing two areas of downtown.

Currently the two locations, which are owned by the county, are parking lots in the 300 and 500 blocks of E. Main Street.

The plan is to redevelop the spaces into one of four options: parking, affordable housing, retail and commercial space, or attract a private investor.

Durham County is giving the public multiple opportunities to voice their opinion.

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Some Durham residents CBS North Carolina spoke to were split on what they thought should be done with the areas.

“More parking — lots of people come downtown, just more parking,” said Mevlin Payne Jr.

Karen Lynn said the area really needs more than just one of the options.

“I think they’re in a pickle, because we need affordable housing, but we also need more parking,” she said. “…we need housing desperately in Durham, we are desperate for housing in Durham. But I also work here, so I need parking. So I am hoping they do either or.”

Dezrick Dixson was also split like Lynn was.

“I would go with parking, because the employees need parking and the people that they serve need parking, as well,” he said. “It could be considered like a retail space — it would be good for retail, too, considering all the revitalization.”

The first of three public input sessions is tonight at 6:30 at the Human Services Building.

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