Public-Private Partnership Kicks Off Durham Project

DHIC, Self-Help and local authorities broke ground on Willard Street Apartments, downtown’s first newly constructed, fully affordable community for households earning 60 percent or less of the area’s median income.
Willard Street Apartments. Image courtesy of City of Durham
Willard Street Apartments. Rendering courtesy of City of Durham

Nonprofit developers DHIC Inc. and Self-Help Ventures Fund, in a partnership with the City of Durham, Duke University and the AJ Fletcher Foundation, have broken ground on Willard Street Apartments, a $17.4 million, 82-unit affordable community in downtown Durham, N.C. Cline Design, Kimley-Horn and Weaver Cooke are also part of the development team.

Located at 480 Willard St., near the Durham Station Transportation Center, the development fronting both Willard and Jackson streets, provides space for a second residential phase on the site, with pre-development work already underway. The City of Durham provided the land and part of the necessary funding for downtown Durham’s first newly built, fully affordable community for households earning 60 percent or less of the area’s median income, which is $50,880 for a family of four.


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Willard Street Apartments is set to encompass 39 one- and 43 two-bedroom apartments, ranging between 674 and 1,047 square feet. Monthly rents will start at $310 and go as high as to $840, with three-quarters of the units set aside for households earning less than 60 percent of AMI and the remaining reserved for those making less than 30 percent of AMI. Ten percent of the apartments will be built at ADA standards and The Durham Housing Authority has committed 21 project-based vouchers to very low-income residents.

Prominent building

Built to meet Energy Star 2.0 standards, Willard Street Apartments will have 5,000 square feet of street-level commercial space, a landscaped plaza and a 125-space parking podium. Plans call for storefront windows, a flat roof and urban forecourts. Amenities are slated to include:

  • a computer center
  • fitness facilities
  • community gathering room with kitchen
  • storage areas
  • patios/porches

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, RBC Capital Markets, PGIM Real Estate Finance and Capital Bank are among the additional funding partners of the six-story project. The community is slated for delivery in December 2020.