Randall Lewis/Building Healthy Places Forum at the Fall Meeting in Dallas
The Fifteenth in the series of Building Healthy Places Forums was held in conjunction with ULI's Fall Meeting in Dallas.
Durham, NC’s Hayti neighborhood, the historical location of many of Durham’s Black businesses, is facing increasing development pressure. The ULI Advisory Services Panel considered opportunities for the redevelopment of the Fayetteville Street Corridor with a community-centered mindset, ensuring the community is involved in both planning and economic participation.
Date: May 15-20, 2022
Location: Durham, NC
Sponsor: Hayti Heritage Center, St. Joseph’s Foundation, and ULI Foundation
Panel Chair: Lyneir Richardson, Co-founder and CEO, The Chicago TREND Corporation and Executive Director, Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Rutgers Business School, Newark, New Jersey
The Fayetteville Street Corridor is a spine through the middle of Durham, NC’s Hayti neighborhood, the historical location of many of Durham’s Black businesses and the hub of economic activity. Yet, the 1958 authorization of the creation of Route 147, effectively dismantled the once thriving Hayti community—while creating a freeway to connect the newly planned Research Triangle Park to downtown.
Today, Hayti is still home to many small businesses, historical landmarks and community organizations of importance to the Black community. The Fayetteville Street Corridor is a gateway that remains vital to the economic development of Durham and preservation of Black history and culture.
In the current moment, there is unprecedented market demand for property in Durham, NC. The Fayetteville Street Corridor is feeling development pressure as the demand for property is outpaces supply. Homes are rapidly selling and/or renting at record levels. Impending change to the historic neighborhood is palpable.
The Hayti Heritage Center asked ULI to explore opportunities for the redevelopment of the Fayetteville Street Corridor with a community-centered mindset, ensuring the community is involved in both planning and economic participation.
Among the panel’s recommendations:
Key recommendations from the panel include:
Establish a Shared Vision within the Community: A shared vision unifies stakeholders because they see the value to their interest and to the collective whole. Important components of a shared vision including maintaining Hayti’s cultural and historic identify, keeping long term residents in place, preserving and reviving its legacy as an entrepreneurial and small business stronghold, making it a safe, healthy, thriving place for residents, students, visitors and others to enjoy.
Identify Leadership to Develop Collaboration and Partnerships: The plentiful and diverse of stakeholders that are currently invested in the revitalization of this area need to form an organization so that their collective voices are considered as development of the Fayetteville Corridor Study Area unfolds of Durham. At the core of the community are: Black small business owners, Black property/land owners, Black multigenerational homeowners and, residents, and Black-led institutional anchors.
Improve Fayetteville Street: Upgrade existing streetscapes and facades, bury overhead utilities, repair broken and missing sidewalks and curbs, address drainage problems, control traffic and invest in home repair and small business development. This could include transfer of Fayetteville Street from the State to the City.
Strengthen North Carolina Central University: NCCU is landlocked and needs to acquire additional property. The property could be developed for educational uses, housing for students faculty and staff. Equally important retail, restaurants and service amenities can be developed that would serve NCCC and the broader community while building on the rich culture of Hayti.
Invest in Hayti Heritage Center: Expand the capacity of the Hayti Heritage Center. HHC is a beloved community asset. It holds a treasure trove of information about African Americans progress in Durham, since the Civil War. It is well positioned to hire additional staff and/or engage expertise to allow it to be a place of community convening related to real estate,
Create Grants for Legacy Homeowners: Legacy homeowners need not fear being displaced by community improvements and rising property values. Programs providing grants that will enable long-term, low-income property owners to make home repairs, renovate façades and pay increased property taxes.
Launch a Black Business Fund: Creation of grant and angel investment fund to empower Black entrepreneurs to start and expand businesses. Create investment vehicles to enable Black residents in Durham to lead, co-development and own commercial real estate in Hayti.
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