Developers plan to build a community of new homes in the midst of an established neighborhood at the edge of downtown.
The new houses will replace a cluster of small rental homes known as Tiny Town near the Oakwood and Mordecai neighborhoods.
The rental community, called the Brookview Apartments, is under contract by residential developer Community Properties in a joint venture with builder Robuck Homes.
The property was originally listed for $5.3 million. A final purchase price has not been disclosed.
Jack Morisey, president of Community Properties, said the area is ripe for development, especially with the revitalization of North Person Street, which includes new restaurants, shops and bars.
“We want to do something that’s really attractive, that really fits in. We certainly understand that the Mordecai and Oakwood neighborhoods are treasures,” he said.
The move toward infill development is one example of the new ways developers are looking to build in Raleigh’s dense downtown core, where land is scare.
Brookview was built shortly after World War II and is made up of 53 single-family houses and duplexes along Virginia Avenue and Sasser Street. In total, 71 units sit on the 7.5-acre site owned by Kip-Dell Homes.
The sale also highlights another downtown trend: limited affordable housing. The units at Brookview were unusually affordable for the area, with advertised monthly rents as low as $480.
Many of the renters leaving Brookview have said they didn’t expect to find other housing as inexpensive and convenient to public transportation and downtown.
In the fall, property management firm Drucker & Falk sent letters to residents informing them they should move out at their earliest convenience, causing an uproar because many people thought they had no choice but to leave immediately. The firm later specified that all leases would be honored.
Under the current zoning, the developers could build as many as 75 houses at the Brookview site. Morisey thinks the final number will be closer to 60.
He said the developers and builders are working with architects to study the area and find ways to bring its character into the new homes.
Morisey said they’ll look at details such as inviting front porches or detached garages that are common among the existing houses. They have yet to decide on any floor plans or sizes for the houses.
“We would like to create an environment where people are friendly with their neighbors,” he said.
Kim Gazella, co-chair of the Mordecai Citizens Advisory Council, said she’s pleased to see local developers working on the site.
“We’re hopeful that whatever is built is something that maintains the charm and quality architecture that is prevalent in this area,” she said.
Neil Gustafson, a broker at Worthy & Wachtel overseeing the sale, said two other Kip-Dell properties in the area have recently sold: the Oakwood Apartments, for $2 million, and Clover Lane Townehomes, for $4.7 million.