Economy & Downtown

Chapel Hill's downtown has long benefited from its proximity to a captive audience of University students without cars. While downtowns around the country have been failing, ours has survived fairly well. However, we have seen an increase in the number of chain stores locating downtown, and instability in the Downtown Economic Development Corporation. In the near future, we will see new Town-directed development on two major parking lots have a big impact.
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Carrboro's downtown has also done better than many towns of comparable size, thanks largely to the presence of Weaver Street Market and progressive shoppers from the rest of the county. The Board of Aldermen has been addressing the evolution of the downtown, and have established a number of community resources in the downtown area including free wireless Internet access, and a low-power radio station.

Town Hall Series Starts Next Week

leestorrow's picture

Starting next week, I'll be hosting a series of four Town Hall events that each focus on a different issue in our community: downtown Chapel Hill, social and environmental justice, economic development and working together in Orange County. 

I want these events to be an opportunity for residents to engage and take an active role in shaping the future of our town. All you need to bring is an open mind and ideas for how we can build a more vibrant, livable community. Here's the schedule:

Town Hall- Downtown Chapel Hill

leestorrow's picture

On February 25th from 5:30-6:30, I'm hosting a Town Hall at DSI Comedy on Franklin Street focused on our downtown. Come hear about what's new for Franklin and Rosemary Streets in the coming year, and share your vision about what you want downtown to look like in the future!

Date: 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 5:30am

Location: 

DSI Comedy

Let's Do Parking Right: A Look at the Evidence

Travis Crayton's picture

Parking, like traffic, is a recurring theme in local conversation about growth and development. We often hear from some community members that there is nowhere to park in downtown Chapel Hill/Carrboro, that a lack of parking is hurting local businesses, and that the parking minimums required for the Ephesus-Fordham renewal district are insufficient.

But the facts simply don’t support these claims. The reality is that providing more parking – especially surface parking – is fundamentally incompatible with urban land uses.*

Residents Give Feedback on Proposed Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center

Jeff Miles's picture

More than 40 people came out to Carrboro Town Hall earlier last night to give the Board of Alderman their thoughts about a proposed Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center downtown. The project, a joint effort of The ArtsCenter and Kidzu, would consist of a center with three performing arts center and kids museum located at at the intersection of Main and Roberson Streets.

Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center: Smart Public-Private Partnership?

Note: I posted this blog entry on my personal website on Sunday, January 4th, 2015, but opted to share it here as well at the invitation of OP editors. While I'm eager to learn what others think about the proposed Arts and Innovation Center and the numerous, interesting issues related to the proposal at hand, I'm not contributing this piece to start or stoke a debate between me and OP readers and contributors.

CHTC Approves the Graduate, Courtyards at Homestead, New Life Fellowship

Travis Crayton's picture

At its meeting last night, the Chapel Hill Town Council voted unanimously to approve three developments: the Graduate, an apartment complex targeted to graduate students to be located behind the Franklin Hotel between Mallette and Kenan Streets; the Courtyards of Homestead, an age-restricted, single-family home development to be built off of Homestead Road; and New Life Fellowship, a church to be built between Sage and Weaver Dairy Roads.

Why do we do Inter-City Visits?

After getting my haircut this week (at the same place since my junior year of college), I ran into Al Bowers of Al’s Burger Shack. I wished him a happy one-year-in-business birthday and he asked me what I was up to.  I told him we were about to take a hundred people to Athens, Georgia.  And he asked, why were we going to do that? Good question, Al. 

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