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Durham approves funding for struggling development project

Posted May 3, 2010

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— The Durham City Council voted Monday evening to move forward in authorizing subordinate funding to develop property in the Hayti community.

Durham officials two years ago spent $5.8 million to buy out 51 homeowners in the Rolling Hills neighborhood, which has gone into foreclosure twice in the past two decades.

Efforts now are under way for a St. Louis-based developer to revitalize the area with 119 mix-income units and 13 live-work units.

Council members on Tuesday authorized the city manager to go into an agreement with MBA Development Corporation for financing in the amount of $5,486,468 to move forward with the plan.

Located on 19 acres off Lakewood Avenue south of downtown, Rolling Hills was started in 1986 by a nonprofit development company formed by North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. They company was to build 250 townhomes and patio homes, but it finished only 30 townhouses and 13 patio homes before going bankrupt.

In the late 1990s, Southeast Durham Development Corp. proposed building 90 single-family homes in Rolling Hills. It completed nine and had two more under construction when the city foreclosed in 2003.


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  • Barf-olomew May 4, 2010

    Another pinpoint example of the continued waste of Durham taxpayer funds. Chicago politics alive and well in Durham. Durham deserves better. Just look at this project - how many millons have already been wasted (No Contest said it best). Or, how about MLK Parkway? Nowhere else in Durham do we have these kinds of "road improvements" except this overpriced, ill-designed, poorly created hunk of asphalt. 2/3 of the plants they planted in the heat of summer died within the first few weeks. Pitiful. Or, my favorite, the new pedestrian bridge over the Durham Freeway. Less than 1 block north is the Alston Ave bridge, complete with extra-wide sidewalks on either side. But, NO, this area deserves a brand new pedestrian bridge on the taxpayer dime. They can't walk 1 block to the other bridge? The new bridge connects to nothing - no businesses, no stores... just houses. It isn't even a greenway! I rant b/c I care about the city in which I live. I'm moving b/c I care about my family.

  • commandokidd May 4, 2010

    Property value must be really low there now, will cost more to repair than building new ones.

  • thewayitis May 4, 2010

    Let's keep throwing more of the taxpayer money into this pit. I'm so glad I'm leaving Durham!

  • gingerlynn May 4, 2010

    No Contest - you are absolutely right but it goes back way to the 80's. I can remember driving by it going to Durham tech in 1983 when they first began throwing money down that rat hole. I would love to see a reporter do an entire ROLLING HILLS TIMELINE of thrown away tax money.

  • Lead by Example May 4, 2010

    Unless this new developer has the cash on hand to make this happen, this is another waste of taxpayer money in an area of Durham that looks like inner-city Detroit (i.e. abandoned property and decaying buildings).

  • no contest May 4, 2010

    The headline should read " Durham throws more money at Hayti again". Give up on this Durham. If this next investment fails maybe you will realize that it's three strikes and you're OUT! This two time losing Rolling Hills project is a waste of money. Durham has lost millions and millions of dollars in projects associated with developing the Hayti area. The ONLY people making money are the companies coming in, taking our tax dollars and 'claiming' bankruptcy. There were taxpayer backed loans not being paid in the 90's. Fake businesses were being started to get grant money. Businesses afraid of the crime do not want to locate in this area.