505 W. Chapel Hill Street
The City of Durham owns 505 W. Chapel Hill Street, a four-acre parcel containing the former Durham Police Department Headquarters building and supportive surface parking lots. The existing office building, originally built for the Home Security Life Insurance Company in the late 1950s, occupies less than a quarter of the site. The site became vacant in 2019 and has been deemed surplus property.
PROJECT UPDATE - September 2023
On December 20, 2022, the City Council received a presentation from the General Services Department and consulting firm, HR&A Advisors (HR&A), along with feedback from residents and stakeholder groups regarding the proposed disposition and redevelopment of 505 West Chapel Hill Street. The City seeks to redevelop the property in partnership with a high-quality development team capable of delivering a project that accomplishes the City’s six key priorities for the site. Based on the direction provided by the Durham City Council, these stated priorities for the future of the site are as follows:
1. Affordable Housing
2. Historic Preservation
3. Mixed-Use Development
4. Signature Design
5. Historical Marker
6. Financial Performance
The City Council has expressed an interest in exploring the possibilities and maintaining control of the overall project through a long-term lease of the property with these priorities in mind.
The selection of a Developer Partner will occur in two phases. In this first phase, which includes the Request for Qualifications (RFQ), interested development firms or partnerships are required to present information on their qualifications, past project experience, potential team structure, and capacity for securing financing to support this development. The RFQs are intended to demonstrate to The City the respondent’s current capabilities, as well as past successes in delivering similar projects. The first phase produced six respondents as of August 1, 2023, which was the deadline for RFQ submissions.
The Durham City Council met on Monday, November 6, 2023, and voted to invite the six development firms who submitted Request for Qualifications to advance to the next stage in the process. The six firms will be contacted and informed of this decision and given a summary of the next steps plus important upcoming dates. On November 22, 2023, The City finalized the Request for Proposals which included the flexibility for lead development firms to pick their own teams in presenting a base scenario and/or alternative scenario. The base scenario is to produce a proposal that includes the preservation of the Milton Small building. The alternative scenario would not include the preservation of the Milton Small building. Thus, any development team can present the base scenario or the base scenario plus the alternative scenario. This is key in providing both flexibility and an incentive to adhere to the six priorities identified by City Council for this very important project. The RFP responses are due by Friday, March 15, 2024. The City will evaluate all complete responses to the RFP and intends to select one or more recommended development team(s) to enter negotiations with the City to reach a development agreement.
General Services is working with HR&A to move this redevelopment forward by exploring the opportunities to create a memorable and iconic space that represents the complexity and diversity of Durham. The City of Durham is more than hopeful that this third time around will be successful especially since The City plans to remain in the picture as a redevelopment partner and there is more flexibility for how the development teams will work together.
Please contact Tara Nichols, Senior Real Estate Officer of the General Services Department, at [email protected] with any questions.