Southpoint Mall files rezoning to add 1,300 apartments and hotel
The owners of the Streets at Southpoint Mall in southern Durham — the Triangle's largest mall — are once again seeking to radically change the popular shopping destination.
- But their plans received pushback from the Durham Planning Commission on Tuesday evening.
According to a rezoning application, owner Brookfield Properties wants to be allowed to build up to:
- 1,382 apartments,
- a 200-room hotel
- 300,000 square feet of office space
- and another 100,000 square feet of retail space.
Driving the news: The mall presented its application to the planning commission saying it wants to turn the mall into "a mixed-use and livable community" but was denied a favorable recommendation due to a lack of specific designs and no affordable housing.
- "I hope this does not come off as we don't like what you are doing," commission chair Austin Amandolia said. "We want more. We want to serve everyone who is going to need to be served on site."
Why it matters: The Streets at Southpoint is a rare breed, as indoor malls throughout the country have shuttered or struggled.
- The 21-year-old mall still attracts 13 million annual visitors and is the largest property and sales tax generator in Durham County.
- It has fared better than most malls but others in the area have not.
- Northgate Mall in Durham closed. University Place in Chapel Hill is getting a dramatic makeover. Triangle Town Center was sold in foreclosure. And Crabtree Valley in Raleigh is for sale.
What they're saying: "Southpoint is facing increased competitive pressure from Raleigh and Cary developments," Patrick Byker, a lawyer representing Brookfield, told the planning commission.
- "We need to move forward to keep Southpoint's competitive edge … and ensure future viability and continued growth for 20 years."
Details: The project would be built on top of surface parking lots at Southpoint in a phased approach, Byker said, noting there might not be demand for that much office space given how remote work has affected that market.
- Brookfield is not proposing any affordable housing at the development, but intends to help provide gap financing for other shovel-ready affordable housing opportunities in Durham, Byker said.
- Members of the planning commission expressed skepticism of that plan and pushed for the inclusion of affordable housing to be included.
- The plan would also add two more bus stops on the property and retain a connection to the American Tobacco Trail.
Context: This is the second time Brookfield has filed a rezoning. In 2019, it submitted a plan with fewer apartments and office space.
- But those plans were revised.
What's next: The plan will go before Durham City Council this summer, which will ultimately decide whether to approve it.
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