DURHAM, N.C. — A view from above downtown Durham reveals what many cities are going through: beautiful new skyscrapers, renovated warehouses and signs that some buildings don’t work anymore.


What You Need To Know

  • More than two dozen redevelopment and development projects are happening in Durham
  • The Novus is luxury rental apartments and condos that will be 27 stories on West Main Street, which opens in 2024
  • Prestige Roofing and Restoration is partnering with Coram Homes to build tiny homes around Durham to create more affordable housing


The construction and cranes on nearly every street corner show the changing landscape and new era of the Bull City.

In the Five Points District, the old South Bank is being demolished and a new 27-story high-rise luxury apartment complex will take its place. It’s called the Novus and it’s set for completion at the end of 2024.

Jane Hills and her husband own Austin Lawrence Partners, a development company that started in Los Angeles.

“This is the real entrance to downtown, and Five Points, we feel like, will be invigorated to a great degree when this building is up,” Hills said.

Hills’ husband and two children are graduates of Duke University.

“We started wondering around here and looking at what opportunities their might be,” Hills said.

Hills says their projects focus on redevelopment and revitalizing neighborhoods to attract more people into the city. They are the developers who built One City Center, a 27-story luxury apartment complex in downtown Durham.

“We talked to as many people as we possibly could as to what was missing, what they wanted and what made them tick. What they liked, what they didn’t like,” Hills said.

The Novus will be home to luxury condos, rental apartments and retail space. While there is a need for high-end luxury housing in Durham, there is also an enormous demand for affordable housing. More than half of the condos are already reserved.

Christopher Martin is the general manager of Prestige Roofing and Restoration. The business is a year old and recently partnered with Coram Homes in Durham to put up a neighborhood of tiny homes.

“This unit behind me, though, is only 160 square feet,” Martin said.

Tiny homes are built for people making less than 60% of Durham’s median income.

“The average single family can’t afford some of these 1,250 town houses or apartments and this just creates an avenue for them to get some decent living areas that are affordable for them financially,” said Martin.

Martin and Coram Homes are currently working on completing 13 tiny homes.

Aside from the tiny homes, there are six affordable housing projects underway in Durham.