Local News

Neighbors fear being priced out of historically black Raleigh neighborhood

Posted March 14, 2017 5:45 p.m. EDT
Updated March 15, 2017 12:03 p.m. EDT

— A southeast Raleigh neighborhood with a history of drug and crime problems is experiencing a transformation.

The South Park neighborhood, Raleigh's largest historic African-American neighborhood which borders downtown Raleigh, is now being targeted by developers.

The homes being built nearby have all the high-end features, but look out of place compared to some homes across the street or next door.

"We're all for improvements of Raleigh, we just don't want to be pushed out of the improvements," said Brenda Jackson, who owns a home in the neighborhood. "We would like to be a part of it."

Jackson grew up on Bloodworth Street. She says developers have been circling like vultures trying to snatch up her home.

"Honestly, I ignore them, but many of our people have sold their homes for pennies," she said. "But where will they be in a few years when those pennies are gone?"

A developer bought a home on nearby Bledsoe Street for about $16,000 and it sold for $286,000. The same developer bought another home on Bledsoe Street for about $20,000, and according to the county property appraiser, it sold for $262,000 10 months later.

"It's good to see that it is growing, but I want to make sure that people who live here, and want to stay here, can stay here," said Corey Branch, a Raleigh City Council member.

Branch represents the neighborhood. He is also a native who wants to protect his neighbors.

"You cannot have a willing buyer unless you have a willing seller. The key is making sure that the current owner realizes the value of the real estate and the property," he said.

Homeowners in the neighborhood say they are concerned that if people stay, higher property taxes may eventually drive them out.