Economy & Downtown
Late this afternoon, via social media linked to a News and Observer article, came the gut punch news that beloved local restaurant Panzanella is closing. On a personal level, this is just very, very sad. Since my wife and I got married over a decade ago, we have celebrated all sorts of major life events, and perhaps most of them– graduations, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, rare visits from cherished friends, you name it – at Panzanella. With such good food, valuable relationships with local farmers, brewers, and other food producers, not to mention what has always been consistently a warm and friendly staff– this is a big surprise that nobody saw coming.
After several months of creative visioning, this input session will have the Rosemary Imagined planners presenting the top-ranked ideas, as determined by the community. Those with a strong vision or desire can pitch to the crowd a non-ranked idea. Then we'll use text-to-voting to determine the ideas that will then begin to shape the district's future plan. Light refreshments will be provided for all to enjoy.
Rosemary Imagined is an innovative community-led planning initiative that will refine our thinking of how Rosemary Street fits into the development and growth of downtown Chapel Hill. Come for information, conversation, and imagination about Rosemary Street and share your thoughts!
This event is part of a 10 month process of engagement with the Town of Chapel Hill and community members to bring together several recent initiatives into a complete vision for the future of the Rosemary Street corridor.
At noon today I attended a seminar on the economics of town development. The speakers were sponsored by the town, county and chamber of commerce. The argument they presented was that most suburban development both residential and commercial require a very long time to pay back the costs of maintaining the initial infrastructure much less the general government cost of services. They analyzed the tax value/acre of land of various properties in town. Multiple store buildings create the greatest value although the Spotted Dog also was high in their calculations. Box stores like Walmart rated relatively low on their scale. Implied by their presentation is that the cost benefit formulas used for residential, commercial and industrial are misleading. By the way the title of their talk: Dollars and Sense is a name of a magazine I've subscribed to for years.
Rosemary Imagined, the town's initiative to transform Rosemary Street into a more vibrant part of downtown, held its second event last night at TRU Deli + Wine. Unlike most town events I've been to, this event was held as a social, where attendees could mingle and talk about their thoughts on Rosemary Street freely among each other.
I was able to attend most of the event, and I have to give Meg McGurk, the Executive Director for the Downtown Partnership, and Dwight Bassett, the town's Economic Development Officer, major credit for succeeding in opening the engagement process up to people you don't often see show up for public meetings. Specifically, there were far more young people at this event than any town event I've been to in the past - and given how Rosemary Street and downtown appear to be developing with our town's sizable young population in mind, it's great to see that we're being included in the process of determining what Rosemary Street will become in the future.
Anyone else going to this tonight?