I am excited to begin the year by tracking the construction progress of Perry Place, CASA’s newest Orange County development off Merritt Mill Road in Chapel Hill/Carrboro. 

We’ve entered the first phase of construction: site work. This involves clearing the land, grading, creating erosion controls and storm water retention, and soil testing – all to create a very level, stable site to begin construction. It is no longer a densely wooded site, as you can see from the photos below:

April, 2021

January, 2022

I’m in awe of architects, engineers, and contractors – how they take a blank canvas of land and create a beautiful building that becomes a home.

The quality of soil on a site can impact a building’s stability. In addition to being sloped, the site on Merritt Mill Road contains soil that is very sensitive to wet conditions which requires us to bring in new fill dirt to ensure stable ground. The wet soil will be removed through a process called undercutting and about 18,000 cubic yards of dry fill will be added to create a level site with compact dirt ready for the next step, the concrete slab.

As land across the Triangle becomes scarce, competition with for-profit developers continues to grow. The lots that CASA can purchase are typically less desirable and can be challenging and expensive to develop because of site work.  Though every developer faces surprises at this stage in construction, CASA won’t increase rents to cover unanticipated expenses.

I’m incredibly optimistic at the progress we’ve made so far, and I look forward to sending the next update when the concrete slab/foundation is poured. If you have questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.

You all have supported CASA on this journey – we deeply appreciate you holding out the vision that 48 low-income households will be able to live affordably in Chapel Hill and Carrboro

 – Mary Jean Seyda, Senior Advisor