This morning, RAM Development announced it planned to convert all 140 condominums at 140 West into workforce housing. RAM chairman Peter Cummings said the idea came to him like an epiphany as he was driving along West Rosemary Street one afternoon.
“I saw this bright light,” he said. “Maybe it was a sign from Heaven, or else the sun glinting off the windows of the empty apartments of Greenbridge. And I felt clarity. Chapel Hill doesn’t need any more half-million-dollar-plus condos. We need homes for the people who keep our downtown running – bartenders, wait staff and the officers who write tickets to people caught smoking on the sidewalks.”
Matt Czajkowski was quick to respond. “How does this fit with the CH2020 plan?” he asked. “If we support this, will the town get sued?”
Sally Greene added, “Whatever Matt says is fine by me; I’ll vote with him.”
Ed Harrison shook his head. “This is not how we do things in Durham.”
Donna Bell may have viewed the turn of events as a win for the town, or not. “So,” she began, then gave balanced arguments affirming all points of view.
Gene Pease furrowed his brow. “I’m struggling with this,” he said. “Let’s ask the planning board to weigh in, after we unseat Del Snow.”
Laurin Easthom recused herself because her husband’s law firm represented everyone involved.
Cummings’ leadership inspired Roger Perry, who proposed leaving the Obey Creek acreage undisturbed, except for offering space for a Witherspoon’s Roses franchise.
“I can make the numbers work by buying Bicycle Apartments and putting a Target there instead,” he said.
And wouldn’t it be wonderful if all this were true on April 2?
– Nancy Oates