New, and yeah, better ideas on proposed Durham apartment complex at Greystone | Durham County | Indy Week
Pin It

New, and yeah, better ideas on proposed Durham apartment complex at Greystone 

Greystone

Photo by Lisa Sorg

Greystone

Well, I might throw up in my mouth a little bit, but I do have to give Lomax Properties points for improvement.

Since last year, Lomax, based in Greensboro, has been trying to convince the city and the historic Morehead Hill neighborhood to approve, even welcome, its plan to build apartments on three acres of meadow near Duke Street and Morehead Avenue.

The original plan called for a monolithic block of homogenous, three-and-four-story apartment buildings facing Morehead. After a protracted set of do-overs, both the city's Historic Preservation Commission and the Morehead Hill Neighborhood Association essentially told Lomax to take their suburban schematics and put them ... uh elsewhere.

So last week, respected Durham architect Lucien Roughton and Lomax responded to concerns about the mass and scale with new drawings that show three separate buildings fronting the street, with some variety in the facades. Two large oak trees would be preserved (but perhaps not the mulberry, sadly, so this could be the last year to forage for berries).

And the number of units has been reduced from 144 to 124, more than half of them one-bedrooms, with 158 parking spaces out back. I gotta say, it looked better.

The opulent historic Greystone Inn, expensive to maintain, comes with the deal, and would become a clubhouse. Part of the revenue from the apartment complex would go toward upkeep of the inn—without which, company executive vice president Patrick Woods told neighbors, who had gathered at the inn, "this place would crumble."

That would be tragic, as downtown and adjoining neighborhoods have endured plenty of instances of demolition by neglect. (Paging Greenfire.) But company president John Lomax assured neighbors that there is no reasonable incentive for them to allow the inn to turn to dust. Even if a tornado blew away the inn tomorrow, the zoning prohibits Lomax from building any more units.

Aside from the architectural anxiety, neighbors have long been concerned that swingin' collegiate apartment dwellers would turn Morehead Hill into a set from The Real World. But Lomax said Greystone would be restricted to ages 21 and up.

That did not console the neighbors, who know that 21 is the new 11, and asked that the minimum age be 30-something, which would accommodate people "who don't want to live with students." (We could call them Greystoners, heh-heh.)

I get that, having lived in enough student neighborhoods to know that it's a drag to hear a drunk guy sit on his porch playing the same guitar chord, usually E-minor, for two hours. But I did feel dismayed by a strong sense of a homeowners versus renters sentiment at the meeting.

"I was hoping for high-end condos," said one woman, holding her tiny dog.

"Yes," I thought, "because Durham doesn't have enough of those in the pipeline."

Lomax did not disclose the price for these 750-to-1,250-square-foot luxury cocoons, only to say it would be "the most we can get out of the market."

Because Durham doesn't have enough of those in the pipeline.

A Better Place is a column about Durham development. Lisa Sorg is the INDY editor. Reach her at lsorg@indyweek.com and via Twitter @lisasorg.

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Durham County



Twitter Activity

Comments

The crumpled hulk should be sent to the Smithstonian or the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham. Eventually, it will be …

by William Turnier on How Much Is a Confederate Monument Worth? (Durham County)

Thanks for this article, Indy and SarahW. I appreciate this important exhibit being brought to my attention. As another new …

by Mr_JT on A New Exhibit Lays Bare How White Privilege Has Influenced Durham’s Past and Present (Durham County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

The crumpled hulk should be sent to the Smithstonian or the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham. Eventually, it will be …

by William Turnier on How Much Is a Confederate Monument Worth? (Durham County)

Thanks for this article, Indy and SarahW. I appreciate this important exhibit being brought to my attention. As another new …

by Mr_JT on A New Exhibit Lays Bare How White Privilege Has Influenced Durham’s Past and Present (Durham County)

I was proud to be in the streets with these and many other hundreds of wonderful Durhamites to show our …

by Ruby Sinreich on The Radicals Who Toppled a Confederate Monument Have Sparked a National Conversation. But Who Are They? (Durham County)

It makes me sincerely proud! Tons of respect to those who are struggling against the state right now. I may …

by Jaydeeh on The Radicals Who Toppled a Confederate Monument Have Sparked a National Conversation. But Who Are They? (Durham County)

Just makes me proud to see my hometown becoming a haven for Marxists. (NOT)! …

by Barbara 2 on The Radicals Who Toppled a Confederate Monument Have Sparked a National Conversation. But Who Are They? (Durham County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation