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News and Noteworthy Details

Friday, November 9, 2012

Durham’s “Build a Better Block” Block Party November 17

Free Admission to Celebration at Driver Street and Angier Avenue Intersection

​DURHAM, N.C. – East Durham residents and visitors should mark their calendars now for next Saturday’s “Build a Better Block” block party to help celebrate the recent changes around the Driver Street and Angier Avenue intersection thanks to a new initiative that brought “pop up” businesses to this area.

The event, set for Saturday, November 17, 2012, from noon to 6 p.m., will celebrate the initial 30-day pilot demonstration and the work that went into fostering new economic life into the existing storefronts, part of the “Build a Better Block with Tootie” initiative. The initiative will continue over the next 18 months in coordination with the development of the City of Durham’s Angier-Driver Streetscape Project and other projects of the Durham Urban Innovation Center focusing on this intersection and the surrounding neighborhood. The block party will feature free admission, a food truck rodeo, music from local bands, and vendors with all proceeds going to the nonprofit Build A Better Block With Tootie, Inc.

According to Constance Stancil, director of the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, this event will celebrate this grassroots and resident-led project, which was designed to encourage the local community to actively engage in a storefront build-out process. It will also show that the success of the pilot can continue for the businesses that participated as well as others who may now be interested in locating in the corridor. “Thirty days of hard work by our residents, businesses, and City staff transformed this block into a whole new place,” Stancil said.

For more information about the block party or how to continue to support this initiative, contact Wanona Satcher, neighborhood development specialist with the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, at (919) 560-1647, ext. 34227 or by email at

The “Build a Better Block with Tootie” initiative is supported by the Durham Urban Innovation Center, which is a division of the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department. For more information, visit or

About the City of Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services Department
The Neighborhood Improvement Services Department works to preserve and improve quality of life conditions for Durham residents, and to encourage active participation in neighborhood redevelopment and public policy and decision making dialogue. The department is responsible for enforcement of quality of life ordinances and state statutes including the City’s Minimum Housing Code; Nonresidential Code; Weedy Lot, Abandoned and Junk Vehicle ordinances; and the State of North Carolina’s Unsafe Building Statute. The department’s rapid responders, known as the Impact Team, remediate non-compliant housing properties; abate public nuisances, such as litter, graffiti, illegal dumping, and abandoned shopping carts; and conduct neighborhood service projects. The department’s Community Engagement staff provides outreach and education to Durham residents and community organizations. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department helps ensure that Durham has thriving, livable neighborhoods by providing the highest quality of services to engage and educate the community, eradicate blight, ensure safer neighborhoods, and enhance neighborhood revitalization. For more information, visit

Published: 11/09/2012 - Last Edited: