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Former Blue Devils Venture Into Downtown Durham With West Village

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DURHAM — By this time next year, there will be 400 apartments in downtown Durham. More than half of those will be at West Village, and the new project may be just the catalyst for turning Durham into a 24-hour city.

The century-old tobacco warehouses have been vacant for years. Now, they are a whirlwind of activity as construction crews transform the historic buildings into modern apartments.

Everywhere you look, there are reminders of the history. Exposed pipes, timber beams, and brick walls are left in place. Old loading docks are being converted into terraces. The appliances, high speed Internet access, pine floors, and security system are new.

"You also have the benefit of living in a neighborhood that hosts, or will host, a dry cleaners, a grocery store, an open-air market that is, and also an upscale restaurant," says property manager Todd Allen.

As Allen notes, residential development is beginning to take root in downtown Durham. Some storefronts on Main Street have newly-converted apartments upstairs.

West Village covers eight acres, by far the largest residential project downtown. West Village could become the centerpiece of a thriving residential and commercial district.

"Part of our master plan identifies some areas of downtown where we hope people will build new residential long-term," says Ted Abernathy. "We hope Blue Devil will continue to expand and take up even more of the warehouses downtown. It can only help."

Blue Devil Ventures says many potential residents have been asking about crime in downtown Durham. Property managers plan to work with the Durham Police Department to increase patrols and take other steps to help residents feel safe.

West Village will house 243 apartments that will rent for $575 to $1600 a month, or about a dollar per square foot.

The first of the new apartments will be ready to move into in February. Eight people have signed up so far.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Jim Young, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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