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Blue Devil Ventures Eyes Development Dream

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DURHAM — Blue Devil Ventures, a development group whichincludes former Duke basketball greats Brian Davis and Christian Laettner,is closing in on its desire to turn old tobacco warehouses in lush, modernapartments.

The group has struggled for the opportunity to transform the idleLiggett and Meyers warehouses into residential units called West Village.

Thomas White, vice president of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce,says now the proposed project has the tacit endorsement of large employers Duke University and Glaxo-Wellcome have agreed, in principle, to leasesome apartments there.

The C of C says that, if this project proves successful, it couldunlock the gate to more opportunities for economic development in downtownDurham.

Ellen Reckhow of the Durham County board of Commissioners saysresidential development could only help the city.

The developers would like to put 238 two-bedroom apartments inthe warehouses with rents ranging from $700 to $900 per month. WestVillage would feature landscaped courtyards and three-lined pathways.Residents will be within walking distance of Brightleaf Square.

Raleigh resident Patricia Malone says she thinks it would help Durham'simage.

Blue Devils Ventures hopes to finalize the deal quickly and get startedon turning its dream into a reality. The developers hope to open theproject up for tenants by this time next year.

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