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Condos starting at $1.2 million, from DPAC architect, coming to downtown Durham

The penthouse at the Callista, a new project from Chapel Hill architect Philip Szostak, will take up two floors of the six-story building.
The penthouse at the Callista, a new project from Chapel Hill architect Philip Szostak, will take up two floors of the six-story building. COURTESY OF SZOSTAK DESIGN INC.

Philip Szostak, the Chapel Hill architect that designed the Durham Performing Arts Center, is expected to begin construction on his latest project this year: a downtown Durham condo building with units starting at $1.2 million.

The 6-story condo building, near the intersection of Geer and Washington streets, will have four units total, one of which will be a penthouse that takes up the top two floors.

Prices at the building — which will be called the Callista — are starting out at $1,168,125, according to the building’s website. The penthouse, which will overlook the old Durham Athletic Park and offer views of the downtown skyline, is currently listed at $1.8 million.

Construction is expected to be completed by next April.

The Callista will occupy a thin piece of land on Washington Street across from the Blue Note Grill, which is at the end of Geer Street. The area along Geer Street has become one of the most popular night-life scenes in the city in recent years, populated by many bars, restaurants and coffee shops.

Over the next few years, redevelopment in downtown Durham will reshape the skyline and add hundreds of office, retail and living spaces to the Bull City.

Three of the four units will be 2,225 square feet in size and each take up one floor of the building. The penthouse will be two stories and be 3,035 square feet. Each unit comes with a two-car garage as well.

“It’s a very small piece of property — only 50 by 100 (feet),” Szostak told The News & Observer and Herald-Sun last year. “But with the (adjacent) alley it allowed every unit to have two parking spaces in their own garage underneath and still have a nice lobby on Washington Street.”

Szostak submitted plans for the project to the city last year with developer Paul Snow.

Snow purchased the 0.1-acre property for $125,000 in 2016, according to county records. The property was sold again last August to 802 Washington Street LLC for $700,000, according to county records. Snow, who is listed as a registered agent for 802 Washington Street LLC, is also behind a residential project in Carrboro called Inara Court.

Farad Ali, president of The Institute, previously The Institute of Minority Economic Development, believes minorities in Durham have the potential to overcome a wealth gap to achieve "shared prosperity" if the city has a shared vision of the future.

Besides DPAC, which opened in 2008, Szostak has also worked on projects such as the Aloft Hotel in downtown Durham, Capitol Broadcasting’s headquarters in Raleigh and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem.

The Washington Street condos will join a string of recent condo projects to be built or planned for the downtown area. Chapel Hill-based East West Partners wants to build a 34-unit project on West Main Street, and a group of Raleigh developers plans to build 62 townhomes south of the Durham Police Headquarters on West Chapel Hill Street.

The Brannan, next to Durham Central Park, and One City Center are also two condo projects in downtown that have already been completed or under construction.

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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