Gentrification in Durham Neighborhoods: Cleveland-Holloway, Lakewood, and Downtown (Photo Gallery)

An influx of high income residents in Durham has caused property values to skyrocket, making it difficult for lower income locals to stay in their neighborhoods.

The Cleveland-Holloway neighborhood has seen some of the sharpest rises in property value in Durham.
Robert Foushee and his wife run Juma’s Food Mart on Holloway Street. He believes that the area is experiencing positive change. “It’s not a bad sign, because the neighborhood has been going down lately between the homeless shelter down the street, and the vagrants that walk the streets.”
In terms of how his business is being affected, Foushee isn’t concerned. “When you come into a store like this, the business is predominantly local. You’re still gonna get the regulars.” Juma’s rarely gets newcomers to the neighborhood. “It’s just a little too ghetto for them,” said Foushee.
The new, expensive housing projects and renovations of Cleveland-Holloway sharply contrast the aging houses of neighborhood locals.
Lakewood is another Durham neighborhood experiencing high rates of gentrification. In the local YMCA, I spoke with Nor and Patricia Woods, renters who have struggled with rising housing costs.
“We lived in NYC for about 40 years, never moved once. Here in Durham, we’ve had to move, what, every three years? We were devastated. We can’t afford to be moving so often.” said Nor Woods. “The rich are pushing the poor out of Durham. The government could be doing so much more to help people like us.”
As part of the City of Durham’s long term revitalization plan, Downtown Durham has been transformed from a low income and high crime neighborhood to a popular commercial and tourist destination. One City Center is the newest and largest development yet, offering luxury apartments, office space, and a shopping center for the area’s wealthy new residents.
Down the road from One City Center and a block away from the county jail, more luxury apartments are being built. Many Durham residents have advocated for more affordable housing as lower income locals struggle to survive in the booming housing market.

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