Written by Amanda Jones Hoyle | TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL
A Charlotte real estate development firm is confirming plans to buy the Hendrick Durham Auto Mall property on Roxboro Street with major plans for a high-rise, mixed-use building project – once the dealership moves to its new home in south Durham next spring.
Charles Lindsey McAlpine, managing partner of Charlotte-based CitiSculpt, says he has a "hard" contract with Hendrick Automotive Group to buy the property from the auto company once the property is vacated in 2015. The Hendrick Durham Auto Mall, which sells Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick cars and trucks, is relocating to a new dealership site near from The Streets at Southpoint mall.
McAlpine would not disclose terms of the downtown property deal, but the 12.5-acre site at 409 S. Roxboro St. has a tax value of nearly $7 million, according to Durham County records.
"In the meantime, we are actively controlling the property and working on variations of a master plan," McAlpine says.
For starters, CitiSculpt (formerly known Southern Apartment Group) already has one agreement in hand with a luxury apartment developer, Woodfield Investments, to build the first phase of new construction on the site.
Mike Underwood, a partner with Woodfield Investments, says he and representatives of CitiSculpt have already had multiple meetings with city planning officials about the project and that he expects to file a site plan for the apartments before Dec. 1.
"We're really just getting started," he says.
McAlpine explains that the site is divided in such a way that it could support four areas, or pods, of development: one for a high-rise office or medical office building use; one for transit-oriented development due to its proximity to the proposed Durham transit line; one for multifamily apartments; and one for dense, mixed-use development fronting Roxboro Street.
The multifamily site, Underwood says, could include a five-story apartment building with up to 308 apartment units, which would be wrapped around an interior parking garage.
"We do want to have 'gateway' somehow in the name since this really is the gateway to so many of the cool places in downtown Durham," he says.