Durham's own social district in the works
Durham could follow Raleigh into the social district game.
Driving the news: Downtown Durham Inc., the nonprofit that manages the downtown Durham business district, told Axios that it is proposing a downtown social district to the city council.
- Raleigh's social district pilot begins on Aug. 15.
- Unlike Raleigh, Durham's proposal — unless it is altered — would cover the entirety of the downtown Durham district, at least how it is defined by the boundaries of Downtown Durham Inc.'s business improvement district.
In a survey, Downtown Durham Inc. found that 80% of downtown businesses thought the social district was a good idea.
- In the same survey, though, many expressed concerns about the social district causing rampant drinking and nuisance behavior.
Yes, but: The proposal is still in its early stages and the boundaries could change, Gina Rozier, a spokesperson for DDI, told Axios in an email.
Context: Social districts allow people to take alcoholic drinks on the go in certain parts of cities, meaning one could leave a bar and walk to a nearby shop while still drinking.
- Many cities are hoping they will lead to increased foot traffic and sales in their downtown cores.
- Last year, the state passed a law to give cities leeway to create social districts.
What's next: Durham Council Member Leonardo Williams said the proposal could be debated during the next two council meetings.
- "It's coming, but we are scrutinizing this thing hard so we can ensure that the rollout is proper," Williams told Axios.
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