Condos Next to Durham Central Park—539 Foster—Will No Longer Be Built | News
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Condos Next to Durham Central Park—539 Foster—Will No Longer Be Built

Posted by on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 6:30 PM

durham-central-park-art_page_1.jpg

UPDATE:  Melissa Herzog, principal in investor relations with Blue Heron, told the INDY on Thursday that Blue Heron is still “committed to the market.” It’s now looking to see what other options the group has for the land. 

She said the location on Foster Street is great, and that BH “loved the condo idea,” but, because financing for condos has remained, as she said, “very difficult,” the group’s lender decided to take a different route. 

Will we see affordable housing on that land? Maybe, but no plans are in place right now. 

“[Affordable housing] is a huge part of who we are, to try and do that if we can,” Herzog says. “The numbers have to work at the end of the day. … We’ll look at that when we look at other options.”

Having a lender back out is a first for Blue Heron—but then again, as Herzog says, the group had never done condos before either.

Blue Heron has known for a few weeks that something like this could happen, but “nothing is ever fast,” Herzog says, adding that the decision “did kind of come out of nowhere a little bit.”  

“We’re definitely committed to Durham. It’s a great market and there’s a lot’s going on down there. It’ll be a great project, we can guarantee you that,” Herzog says. 

Previous story:  In a surprise move, Blue Heron Asset Management LLC this afternoon announced that the 539 Foster condominium project was no longer going to be built. The announcement, made by mass email, is below: 
We would like to make you aware of a significant recent change that has occurred with the 539 Foster development. Due to the sudden and unexpected withdrawal from the project by our construction lender, we will not be pursuing a condominium project at this location. 

Together with the City, our neighbors at Durham Central Park, and our development team, including our architects, engineers, builders, designers, and salespeople, we’ve worked tirelessly toward the goal of delivering a vibrant residential community to the Central Park neighborhood. We are enormously appreciative of those who shared in our vision. 

The investments that the City and the community have made in Downtown Durham have been enormously successful. We look forward to continued collaboration with these and other stakeholders as we take some time to consider and formulate a modified vision for the property. We continue to strive to make this critical parcel of land a positive, contributing component in the transformation of Downtown Durham
The project was approved last summer, and caught some flack for a number of reasons, including developers not being entirely transparent about the project. It’s unclear why the withdrawal happened or if another project will be pursued on the same land, which is next to Durham Central Park, across the street from the luxury apartment complex replacing the old Liberty Warehouse

539 Foster was set to have roughly one hundred units of market-rate condos. Liberty, on the other hand, has more than two hundred.

The INDY has reached out to both the city of Durham and Blue Heron and has yet to hear back. We'll update the post when we do. 

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