The Streets at Southpoint, a shopping mall in Durham, may be undergoing renovation as owners request to rezone the property.
Opened in 2002, the Streets at Southpoint Mall is currently the only surviving mall in Durham and the largest in the Triangle. The mall brings over 13 million annual visitors and is the largest property and sales tax generator in Durham County.
Developers hope to expand the mall with apartment buildings and a mid-rise hotel, but there has been some pushback on the operation.
The submitted request consisted of adding up to 1,382 apartment units, a 200-room hotel and 300,000 square feet of office space. These new additions could grow the mall to 3.3 million square feet while it currently sits at 1.3 million square feet.
The rezoning request also included other details, such as reworking the mall’s driveways and roads, building new bus shelters and crosswalks and upgrading the bus pull out lanes on Fayetteville Road and Renaissance Parkway. This is the second time the rezoning request has been filed, but the first plan consisted of fewer apartment and office space additions.
In addition to this new expansion, land would also be dedicated on the northern edge of the property which will allow the American Tobacco Trail to extend east to Fayetteville Road. For families who choose to stay in the apartments in the area, their children would attend Jordan High, Sherwood Githens Middle and Lyons Farm Elementary schools.
The rezoning idea was first presented in 2019 by Brookfield Properties.
“Southpoint is facing increased competitive pressure from Raleigh and Cary developments,” Patrick Byker, an attorney representing Brookfield, told the planning commission.
Planning Commission Chair Austin Amandolia said that the main reason for this proposed plan is to turn the mall into a mixed-use and livable community.
“This is the type of development that us on the planning commission have often been calling [for] more of: mixed-used, walkable, dense communities instead of suburban sprawl,” Amandolia said.
When it came down to voting for this project, planning commissioners voted 3-10 against recommending the rezoning to the City Council. Due to a lack of specific designs and no affordable housing, the plan was denied a recommendation. Community members are pushing for the plan to build affordable housing as developers announced the apartments would be rented out at market rate.
Brookfield had no intention of proposing affordable housing at the new development for Southpoint, but they do intend on financially helping other affordable housing opportunities in Durham.
This vote done by the commissioners is not the final say and will not prevent the project from moving forward. Sometime later this summer, the plan will go before the Durham City Council, which will be the ultimate decision on whether the plan gets approved or not.
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Kerria Weaver is a second-year master’s student in the Graduate Liberal Studies program and an associate news editor of The Chronicle’s 119th volume.