Like most large developments, University Marketplace had a grand vision: 300 apartments and 110,000-plus square feet of retail space, including a gourmet grocer, Poppies, in southwest Durham, near SuperTarget and Sam’s Club.
That was in 2008, shortly before the Great Recession tanked the credit markets. And since then, University Marketplace off Shannon Road between U.S. 15-501 and University Drive, has lain fallow. One of the last tenants, Sitar India Cuisine, moved across 15-501, where it thrives. Even the H&R Block, which could set up shop in a lean-to, bailed several years ago.
We have a call into Hawthorne Retail Partners to get an update on this sad state of development affairs. Development is booming in Durham, and the South Square area could be near a light rail line, making this acreage prime real estate.
In the meantime, I put together a slideshow of photos and music (“I’m Just an Outcast” by Bar X Cowboys—how plaintive—sniff!), illustrating what this forgotten acreage has become.