Expanding the commercial district
PD touts the potential of their property to be restored to single family housing. At around 50 bucks a square foot, that's probably doable, though it
s been available for most of the year, so it might still need to come down again.
From my perspective, though, a neighborhood commercial use for these buildings is even more desirable. I'm thinking of a Four Square type restaurant, or perhaps a law office. Of course, the city has got to do a couple of things on that block no matter what's going to happen to those buildings. For starters, the plastic Rhino wall on the curve as you go from Markham to southbound Mangum has got to go. That was a temporary installation that was supposed to last a year or two until the city got around to the permanent modifications for that intersection. 2011 will mark the wall's 8th anniversary.
Enforcing city codes at the other 2 buildings on the block, including the apartment building that was the site of a multiple homicide a few years back at the SW Roxboro/Markham corner shouldn't be that difficult. Multiple city administrators and elected officials drive past those buildings every day on their way to city hall. You'd think someone would be paying attention to the state of that intersection. The only explanation i can come up with is that it's so dangerous to drive through there, and people are going so fast, that they don't have the cognitive ability to pay attention to much more than the car in front of them.
That's why i was so thrilled the other night to see someone with entrepreneurial spirit taking notice of this corner. On our way back from dinner, around 7:45 or so on Saturday night, i was solicited for a sexual encounter by a woman working the street. while i was walking by with my wife.
The only thing that would make this any better would be to buy the woman a T-shirt that reads "Great Things Are Happening in Durham" and let her solicit those out-of-towners who are driving through to the DPAC to see Billy Elliott. That would give them the full Durham experience.