Frank Laney: Tract must stay undeveloped

March 27, 2014 

Your March 22 news article “ RDU looks at real estate” on RDU’s interest in developing the various real estate holdings it owns around the airport struck a cord.

My interest is in the parcel you call C2 in the locator map. This tract, wedged among Umstead Park, the airport and I-40, is commonly called the Oddfellows tract. The Oddfellows owned the land as a private park for themselves and their families. They had a small lake, picnic shelters and a bath house.

Around the 1950s, the airport decided that it needed more room, so it offered to buy the Oddfellows land. The Oddfellows declined. The airport threatened to take the land through condemnation. The Oddfellows offered an alternate deal – they would give the land to the airport if the airport agreed to allow Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to camp on the land forever. The airport accepted.

So, as I understand it, while tract C2 may be valuable land, the airport cannot develop it, now or ever.

Frank Laney


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