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Old 01-15-2012, 09:27 PM
 
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Good evening! I have browsed through many threads and have more questions re: where to live in Downtown Durham? I am possibly relocating to NC, and will be attending Duke University for my PhD. My boyfriend and I are in our 30's, and love the city life. He's in the entertainment business, and we would like to stay where the hustle and bustle is. I would prefer a young, professional, hip crowd and easy walk to near by shops and restaurants.

Any recommendations would be appreciated! I have looked online at Westlake Village, American tobacco, Erwin square, Goldenbelt and Baldwin lofts. I am also open to renting a condo/townhome privately but it would have to be close/walking distance to shops/restaurants. We would prefer a 2 bdrm but 1 bdrm would be okay as well. Price range is flexible but preferably around 1K range. I would be willing to pay more for what we get. Some must haves include washer/dryer in unit and parking.

Could you please help guide me? Pros and cons about each place or area would be most helpful! Thanks!!!
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:55 AM
 
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You named some of the ones right downtown that I would think you should be looking at. They're all in walking distance to great shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Downtown Durham really isn't very big, although I think there is a lot to do there, so walking anywhere once you are downtown is really easy. As long as you fall into one of the "downtown districts" on the map you'll be good to go.

http://www.durhamrising.com/DowntownMap2010Guide.pdf

I don't have any first hand experience with any of these buildings, but this might help you find some other rentals and possibly some of the sale listings will give you ideas of buildings to look at for private rentals in on craigslist.

Find Your Space

Welcome to Durham, I'm sure you'll love it!
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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I dont know anything about these places, but what I see from riding by.

Lofts at Lakeview Apartments | Lofts at Lakeview Apartments in Durham, NC 27705 Is really close to Duke. Its about as close as you can get, really. Alot of daytime traffic. This is another right near there Trinity Commons | Durham Luxury Apartments Next to Duke Medical Center its even closer!
To me, this is a 'new' urban area. Most of the resturants and stores are chains. Its all walkable with sidewalks but its a 5 lane street.

The 9th st is more mom and pop. Couple boutiques, coffee shops, bars, resturants, bookstore, ect. Alot of rental housing all around that area. nice old mill house area.
Station Nine : Downtown Durham Apartments is right next to 9th st. There is also another mega place going in right next door. Circle Ninth Street

Brightleaf is great. Bars resturants and shops all around. West Village is right there West Village - Historic Urban Lofts - Durham, NC there are a couple other apts near there.

Those are a few you didnt mention. The Bull City Connector links all the 'cool' Durham areas. Its free. http://www.bullcityconnector.org/map.html

Last edited by ncmickey; 01-16-2012 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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The Erwin Rd. area is very newly developed, but as the PP noted, is VERY heavy with chains -- Chipotle, TGI Fridays, Quiznos, Dunkin Donuts, Noodles & Co., and though some local businesses are mixed in (Six Plates Wine Bar, Local Yogurt, Sushi Love), it's not really a pleasant area to walk and has few signature local draws.

A new apartment complex is just going under construction at Ninth St. to join Station Nine as an option... not sure what your timing is but that is closer, as noted above, to local businesses, Whole Foods, etc.

You've nailed it in re the major downtown places to live. Note that the Baldwin is going condo, though I suspect some of these might be available for rental. Same for Mangum 506, which is all-condo but might have some units for rent. Also look at the Addison Bldg. downtown.

To look for private housing in close walking/biking proximity to these areas, check the Trinity Park, Trinity Heights, Old West Durham, and Burch Ave. neighborhoods along with the more urban-pioneering Golden Belt and Cleveland-Holloway neighborhoods. You'll find plenty of everything from 1910s-1930s apartment buildings (see SE corner of Buchanan and Trinity on Google Maps for an example) to garage apartments to the like in Trinity Park, for instance.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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I spoke to a few people who have lived in NC, and some mentioned that when they were there (years ago), that Downtown Raleigh would be a better fit for me. I am so confused! They said ideally Charlotte would be best, but I will be attending Duke so I know that isn't feasible since Charlotte is far. Any more thoughts/opinions??
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hautemama View Post
I spoke to a few people who have lived in NC, and some mentioned that when they were there (years ago), that Downtown Raleigh would be a better fit for me. I am so confused! They said ideally Charlotte would be best, but I will be attending Duke so I know that isn't feasible since Charlotte is far. Any more thoughts/opinions??
i think raleigh would be too far too, esp with traffic. i guess that depends on your standards, though. chapel hill is another option
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Originally Posted by hautemama View Post
I spoke to a few people who have lived in NC, and some mentioned that when they were there (years ago), that Downtown Raleigh would be a better fit for me. I am so confused! They said ideally Charlotte would be best, but I will be attending Duke so I know that isn't feasible since Charlotte is far. Any more thoughts/opinions??
Much, much has changed since "years and years" ago.

My wife and I came here in the mid-00's for her JD program at Duke Law. We initially rented in north Durham, at the Croasdaile neighborhood. When we came here, there were no restaurants of any note (except Jo and Joe's) open in downtown's City Center district, and the place was dead at night. I work for one of the first employers to move into the American Tobacco complex downtown, and similarly, there were only one or two places to eat.

Then came Rue Cler, and Revolution, and Toast, and Bull City Burger, and Dos Perros, and Piedmont, and Bull McCabe's, and Old Havana, and Geer St. Garden, and Motorco, and Fullsteam, and Dame's, and... well, and a bunch of other places. The Farmer's Market. The DPAC -- which this past year was the 4th-highest venue in the US for ticket sales of anywhere. Free bus service connecting downtown with Duke. New construction at American Tobacco. Pinhook, a great live music venue and bar. Parker & Otis, a great morning stop.

What's more, there are people out and out around downtown. The crowds are bigger in Raleigh, but if you're going to be at Duke, this is the place you will want to be.

What you're hearing are conceptions/remembrances from those who remember much deader times in Durham. Those times are gone.

And FWIW, we moved from our apartment, to our first house in Trinity Park that was 1 mile from downtown. When we bought our second house in 2010, on Gloria Ave., living in walking distance from downtown was by then a MUST-HAVE for us.

Come to downtown. Stay at the King's Daughters Inn, rent a ZipCar or borrow a bike, and check out downtown. Catch a movie at the renovated Carolina Theatre. Get a beer at Fullsteam. Wander down Ninth St. And find people who live here, now, to give you advice.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:45 PM
 
6 posts, read 55,422 times
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Post Info re: where to live

Thank you so much for your informative reply! I don't mind the drive, although my boyfriend and I are going to be sharing a car so it would be inconvienent if we were to live in Raleigh? But I suppose if I really liked Downtown Raleigh I would not mind. I will be flying into NC for my interview at Duke and will most definitely be exploring as much as I can!!! I will only be there for 2 days, so during that time I will be checking out the lofts as mentioned.

Any other suggestions?? Thanks so much for your help!!!
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: NC
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Honestly, you would be leaving a great opportunity on the table living in d/t Raleigh, rather than Durham if you go to Duke. It would make no sense to commute if you don't have to. there are many cool things going on d/t Durham, why would you pass it up? If anyone hasn't visited Downtown Durham in the last 6mts, then I would be leery of their advice. Ck out the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau site for more info.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:09 AM
 
804 posts, read 1,745,925 times
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Originally Posted by RaleighLass View Post
Honestly, you would be leaving a great opportunity on the table living in d/t Raleigh, rather than Durham if you go to Duke. It would make no sense to commute if you don't have to. there are many cool things going on d/t Durham, why would you pass it up? If anyone hasn't visited Downtown Durham in the last 6mts, then I would be leery of their advice. Ck out the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau site for more info.
i would agree with this. downtown durham would easily meet the vibe of what you want, be close to duke, & offer just as much as downtown raleigh without the commute.

my husband recently completed his doctorate at state & has many friends currently in doctoral programs at state with spouses/significant others in the PhD program at duke or UNC. some tried to live in between to split the commute but most ended up choosing durham or chapel hill or raleigh, depending on whose program required more on-campus time. depending on your program, i think you'll appreciate being just a hop, skip, & jump away from campus for both your program & for social reasons as you make friends in the area.

i'm a definite advocate of downtown raleigh, but if you are going to duke, durham will be much better in my humble opinion.
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