A nonprofit developer plans to revamp more than 19 acres of housing east of downtown, kicking off years of public and private investment around the College Park neighborhood.
On Thursday, the public can weigh in on the redevelopment project.
DHIC Inc. is holding a “community design” meeting for its Washington Terrace plans from 6-8 p.m. at the Tarboro Road Community Center in Raleigh. The center’s address is 121 N. Tarboro St.
The nonprofit will show early sketches of the redevelopment plan, inviting feedback and guidance from current residents and others.
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The project is “something that we felt we were almost called to do because of our history in this neighborhood, initially starting out almost 40 years ago,” said Gregg Warren, president and director for DHIC.
“We really felt like we were capable of making a transformational impact on this neighborhood.”
The nonprofit bought the Washington Terrace apartment complex early in 2014, paying about $4.7 million for its 245 units, just east of Saint Augustine’s University. The group’s mission is to build affordable housing.
DHIC, which goes only by its initials, would demolish and rebuild the community, increasing the number of housing units to as many as 400. The nonprofit plans to build the units for people at a variety of income levels, but Warren intends to preserve at least the current number of “affordable” units, he said.
The company already has hosted a series of community meetings.
“First and foremost, people want affordable housing,” said Yvette Holmes, director of community partnerships and development. “They want to ensure that they’re able to remain in the community, certainly valuing the rich history, strong sense of pride that currently exists.”
The apartment complex is now about 65 years old. DHIC plans to allow all current residents to stay in the community. Some people may have to move from unit to unit within the complex as development begins.
To ease the transition, DHIC has allowed about 100 units to go vacant as people have left the community.
The new development will have higher density than the current complex. Warren expects to cluster construction along the streets in more of an “urban setting,” Warren said, though the current development rules limit the new buildings to three floors. DHIC could bring businesses, such as retail or restaurants, to the site.
“We’re also looking at supporting facilities, such as child care. There has been discussion about a charter school, and a health clinic,” Warren said. “Those are all kind of in play.”
In all, redevelopment could cost $40 million, Warren said.
The city helped DHIC buy the land by issuing a $2.1 million, zero-interest loan in 2013, with a five-year repayment period. The nonprofit also has received $150,000 from the Wells Fargo Housing foundation and $35,000 from Enterprise Community Partners for planning.