The development, in the Trinity Heights neighborhood, is just across the street from Duke's East Campus. It is part of the university's effort to be a good employer and a good neighbor.
David Kellogg is a Duke employee who bought one of the University's old rental properties.
"[It] takes me about five minutes to walk from my home to the office," says Kellogg. "All the houses have improved. People have been working on their houses more in the last year and a half than in the previous ten years."
The improvements are just beginning.
"We had undeveloped land that wasn't doing anybody any good," says Jeffrey Potter of Duke University.
The University is building 22 single family houses and 15 townhomes that will be sold to Duke employees.
"Here we're trying to get Duke faculty and staff to live near campus, add to the city's tax role and take vacant land that wasn't so attractive and make it into pretty places," says Potter.
Kellogg believes the University is not just building homes, it is helping to rebuild a community.
"You're always worried it is going to be historical, is it going to fit the neighborhood, is it going to crowd things out. But I think they've done a pretty good job," he says.
The reaction to the project has been positive so far. Most of the neighbors believe increasing home ownership in the area will help stabilize the neighborhood.
The price of the homes will start around $150,000 and are expected to be completed next fall.