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.
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. I'm just throwing it out there as a thought piece. My mind might change. So might the proposal. Who knows? (It's Carrboro!) Looking forward to reading other people's comments and ideas, and to hearing from residents, business owners, in-town workers and others at the public hearing or beforehand. The BOA already is getting really thoughtful comments by email as a result of the broadly-distributed notice of public hearing. Hope you'll consider weighing in as well.
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.
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.
In 1985, a group of engaged community leaders called the Public Private Partnership (PPP), organized our community’s first Inter-City Visit to Lexington, Kentucky, spurred by a visit from leadership from the Bluegrass State the previous year. Since that first trip to Lexington, our community has traveled to eight other college communities, including Boulder, Princeton, Champaign-Urbana, Madison, and Ann Arbor.
Join Chapel Hill Town Council Member Lee Storrow for open office hours to discuss your concerns in Chapel Hill.
I'll provide refreshments, just bring yourself. Come whether you have a specific concern, or just want to hear more about what local government is doing. Past conversations have tended to go in a lot of different directions, but am definitely interested in feedback and thoughts about downtown Chapel Hill for this gathering.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Industry- 403 West Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill NC,
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