A bottling facility in Durham could be transformed into a new development with apartments, townhomes, a grocery store and retail space.
The Ardent Companies, an Atlanta-based asset management firm, has filed a rezoning request with the City of Durham for 3214 Hillsborough Road, site of the Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Company warehouse, to allow for a mixed-use development. The bottling company plans to move its operations to a new facility in Chatham County.
The current zoning is industrial light. The requested zoning is for the northern portion of the site to be planned development residential and the southern portion to be commercial general.
“This stretch of Hillsborough Road is a thoroughfare in the truest sense of the word, people are passing through,” said Ardent Executive Director Jay Douglas. “What we want to do is create something that creates a sense of place, and a mixed-use project will allow for that. … Our goal is to create a first-class experience for those who use this project, and help people recognize the value of this corridor and lead to additional reinvestment in the city.”
A traffic impact analysis shows an anticipated buildout of 2027 for the project. Other details for timeline and cost are unknown as Ardent did not provide them.
The development plan shows 370 apartments, 24 townhomes and 68,356 square feet of commercial space. There would be a 5.5-story parking deck wrapped by residential and retail buildings with 495 parking spaces. The commercial side of the site would have 400 parking spaces in a surface lot.
The apartments will be in two 5-story buildings — one along Bellevue Avenue and one along Mountain View Avenue — and will be market rate. There will also be three floors of residences above the ground-level retail shops. The townhomes will be spread across four buildings along Rosemary Avenue and could be for-sale townhomes. Notes from a neighborhood meeting for the rezoning show the townhomes will most likely be three stories.
A letter to the City of Durham Planning Department said the company is planning to develop 15 percent of the townhomes as affordable housing at 80 percent of the area’s median income. This would be done in partnership with a nonprofit organization.
The residential side will also have two green spaces and an amenity courtyard.
Development plans show the grocery store will be 23,296 square feet on Hillsborough Road and will replace the existing warehouse space. It would most likely be a neighborhood grocery store similar to the Durham Co-op Market.
The remaining commercial space of 41,600 square feet would be spread among four retail buildings. Douglas said the company is aiming for a mix of food & beverage retailers along with soft goods retailers and services.
Douglas said the existing facility will be removed, but the adjacent 3,500-square-foot First Citizens Bank branch will remain. The company is looking to see if there are any parts of the facility that can be repurposed.
The site currently has a 106,420-square-foot warehouse on 11.696 acres. Last year, the bottling company announced plans to move to Chatham County in order to merge its Durham and Sanford operations into one large headquarters in Apex. Both the Durham and Sanford sites will close, with employees moving to the new facility.
Durham Coca-Cola still owns the property in Durham. It has an assessed value of approximately $4.5 million. Douglas said Ardent’s plan is to take possession of the site by the end of this year, and lease back the site if Durham Coca-Cola still needs to use the facility.
The Ardent Companies is an investment firm that focuses on commercial, residential and debt financing. It manages 5.5 million square feet of commercial space, with $725.5 million in assets under management. The company says it has acquired, entitled or developed more than 8,500 single-family lots and 2,300 multifamily units.