TightLines Designs is pleased to announce that construction is well underway on the North Street Community Project in the Central Park neighborhood of Durham, NC.  Legacy Real Property Group based out of Chapel Hill is acting as the developer on this groundbreaking effort that will fulfill a vision to create a neighborhood support network where people with and without developmental disabilities can live together in community. The idea grew from a core group of families involved with nearby Reality Center who wanted to find a way to bring this dream to life.

The project consists of 14 multi-family brick buildings originally built in approximately 1942 that served for decades as 56-unit apartment housing. Legacy Real Property Group acquired the much neglected units in 2011 and began working with a team of professionals and community leaders to plan a significant renovation that would provide a new start for a number of deserving families. In most cases, the new homes will be made available for sale to homeowners who embody the mission of the community to serve the disabled. Some rental opportunities will exist and a Property Owner Association (POA) will be formed to protect the mission of the community for generations to come.

TightLines Designs is providing custom redesign services for the North Street Community Project. The scope of work is unique for a number of reasons. After completing as-built drawings from measured existing conditions, TightLines team members created a number of thoughtful floorplans that were designed to address the individual needs of residents moving into the homes. The design process consists of identifying future homeowners who are referred directly to TightLines team members. Future residents and staff work together to identify plans that meets lifestyle preferences and necessities. Modifications are frequently made to accommodate design elements such as handicap accessible showers and oversized dining areas.

Serving as primary residences, each building will continue as a multi-family structure. The buildings will be redesigned to allow for between 2 and 4 dwelling units each at completion, and no two buildings will be exactly alike. Some homes feature efficiency apartments that will allow adults with developmental disabilities a sense of independence, while still remaining connected to a strong support network. In other cases, homes will serve as “friendship houses”—dwellings that will be offered on a rental basis to individuals including seminary students to provide additional support to disabled residents.

In addition to facilitating an incredible community experience, Legacy Real Property Group also took great measures to respect the historic integrity of the neighborhood and provide residents with energy-efficiency and indoor air quality benefits. Extensive environmental remediation was performed on the structures and homes will feature high performance insulation and HVAC systems, as well as low-e windows that are sized to the original openings. The buildings are currently planned to receive ENERGY STAR 3.0 certification and the community will also feature enlarged front porches, shared common areas and greenspaces.  Residents are scheduled to start moving into their new homes in July and the project is expected to be completed during the Spring of 2013.