Local News

Individuals, Businesses Heeding Durham's Y'all Come Invitation

Posted June 28, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— You don't have to drive far to find a place to live in the Triangle. Durham has been begging businesses and residents to move in for years. NOW, They're starting to heed the call, and are beginning to stampede into the Bull City.

One inspection office approves all the building permits for Durham city and county, and that office has been very busy. In just the first quarter of this year, the total cost of construction projects is up 120 percent, and the houses these workers are building are already sold.

Better yet, there are more buyers waiting for more homes in Durham's rapidly growing housing market.

"Well, they're discovering that there's life on the other side of Cary," says real estate agent Gina Michael.

Michael used to sell real estate in Cary. Now, she's set up shop in Durham's Four Seasons at Lattamoor. It's a development she expected would draw only retirees, but she's been proved wrong.

"We discovered that it appeals to people of all ages," says Michael. "Even people relocating into the city have discovered that Durham has a whole lot to offer so we're getting a lot of out-of-towners as well as locals. Can't say exactly why, but they like what we have."

Growth in the Bull City and in Durham County isn't just residential, it's commercial as well. Planners say the big increase is split almost evenly between homes and businesses.

"We definitely have to say we're in a boom, no question about it," says Gene Bradham, director of the Durham City/County Inspections Department.

Bradham says plans awaiting building permits are always stacked up in his office. He says the total dollar amount of construction projects he's approved, just during the first quarter of this year, tops $248 million.

"With the phone activity that we're getting, people calling for inspections, the demand for inspections and quick plans review, being done in a timely manner, we're all clipping along at a real high pace right now," says Bradham.

There has been more construction in Durham city and county so far this year than in all of 1995. Last year was a record year for new construction in the Durham area, but, this year is certain to set another record.