Durham approves 2 new housing developments near RDU airport

City-County Planning Department

Two new developments, one aimed at people 55 and up, can be built near Raleigh-Durham International Airport after votes this week by the Durham City Council.

The developers of both projects agreed to price a small percentage of units as affordable for the next 30 years for those making less than 80% of the area median income. In Durham, that’s about $48,400 for an individual or $69,100 for a family of four, according to the federal government.

55+ rental community

The larger project, at 3802 Page Road, will be targeted to “active senior residents.”

  • Up to 210 rental apartments and townhomes

  • Six affordable units

  • 16 acres

That project, currently named Brier Creek ACT, is being built by Capitol Seniors Housing. CSH has 120 senior communities nationwide.

It’s age-targeted, but not restricted to those 55 and older. Durham’s comprehensive plan encourages intergenerational housing over age-restricted communities.

“It does isolate certain communities,” said Council member Javiera Caballero. “For our community’s sake, it’s good to have our seniors — just like affordable housing — everywhere.”

The council approved the annexation and rezoning by a unanimous vote.

Townhomes near FedEx facility

The second project, Smallwood Townhouses at 2736 Page Road, is about 1.5 miles up the road.

  • Up to 72 for-sale townhomes

  • 5% affordable units

  • 10 acres

There is a 24/7 FedEx shipping facility nearby that loads trucks early each morning, which raised eyebrows for some.

“There’s always concerns when you put residential this close to an industrial use,” said commercial real estate attorney Tonya Powell. “You’re going to have the dock noises, the truck noises, the noises of hooking the trailers to the trucks, the loading and unloading, breaks, beepers.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mark-Anthony Middleton said that’s between buyer and seller.

‘That’s their problem if they get it wrong and build an unsellable product,” he said.

Council member DeDreana Freeman proposed a wall to dampen the sound and voted no after the developer’s attorney, Nil Ghosh, said that was impossible.

The rezoning and annexation passed 6-1.