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.

What do you love about Chapel Hill?

Did you know that visitor spending in Chapel Hill and Orange County accounts for over $160 million in economic impact ever year? Tourism is a clean business that creates jobs and tax revenue that helps keep our county the amazing place it is. I was appointed to represent the Town Council on the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitor's Bureau at the start of this year, and am committed to increasing the economic impact from tourism over this year. 

To celebrate the great visitor and tourist attractions in Orange County, I'm headed on a stay-cation over Memorial Day weekend. I'll be packing my bag on Friday and won't return until Monday afternoon, but I'll never be more than 25 miles away from my home. I'm spending Friday night in Carrboro, will be visiting Hillsborough and Northern Orange on Saturday, and will be finishing up in the southern part of heaven on Sunday.

What I Would Have Said

Tonight, the Chapel Hill Town Council is receiving public comment on the Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment plan after public comment was delayed from Monday's meeting due to a lack of time.

I was at Monday's Council meeting in the hopes of speaking in support of the plan. Unfortunately, I'm unable to be at the meeting tonight where public comment is still underway at the time of this post. Because I can't be there to speak tonight, I'm posting here the email I sent to members of the Town Council expressing my support for the plan.

Rosemary Imagined Community Review Meeting

The purpose of the Rosemary Imagined: First Community Review Meeting is to review the two draft concepts for Rosemary Street. These concepts are being drafted by the consulting team from KlingStubbins, a planning firm located in Raleigh, based upon the community input and feedback received during the Rosemary Imagined meetings held in the summer and fall of 2013.

Two drop-in meetings will be held on April 10 and will be at the following times:

  • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a brief overview presentation at 12:15 p.m.
  • 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a brief overview presentation at 6:45 p.m.

Both meetings will be held in the Sky Lounge at Greenbridge, 601 Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. The format of these two meetings will be identical; the purpose of holding two meetings is to provide multiple opportunities for participants to attend and provide their input.

During the meeting, we will gather community comment about the two draft concepts. The concepts will then be revised to develop one draft concept. A Second Community Review meeting will be held in late May or early June to receive community feedback about the revised draft concept.

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. This goal of this effort is to develop a vision for the future of the Rosemary Street corridor that emphasizes the Town’s focus on connections, choices, and community.

For more information about the Rosemary Imagined process, visit http://rosemaryimaginedblog.com/

For questions, contact Megan Wooley, housing and neighborhood services planner for the Town of Chapel Hill, and Meg McGurk, executive director for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership at info@rosemaryimagined.com. Megan can also be reached at 919-969-5059, and Meg can be reached at 919-967-9440.

Date: 

Thursday, April 10, 2014 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: 

Sky Lounge at Greenbridge, 601 Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill

Rosemary Imagined Community Review Meeting

The purpose of the Rosemary Imagined: First Community Review Meeting is to review the two draft concepts for Rosemary Street. These concepts are being drafted by the consulting team from KlingStubbins, a planning firm located in Raleigh, based upon the community input and feedback received during the Rosemary Imagined meetings held in the summer and fall of 2013.

Two drop-in meetings will be held on April 10 and will be at the following times:

  • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a brief overview presentation at 12:15 p.m.
  • 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a brief overview presentation at 6:45 p.m.

Both meetings will be held in the Sky Lounge at Greenbridge, 601 Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. The format of these two meetings will be identical; the purpose of holding two meetings is to provide multiple opportunities for participants to attend and provide their input.

During the meeting, we will gather community comment about the two draft concepts. The concepts will then be revised to develop one draft concept. A Second Community Review meeting will be held in late May or early June to receive community feedback about the revised draft concept.

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. This goal of this effort is to develop a vision for the future of the Rosemary Street corridor that emphasizes the Town’s focus on connections, choices, and community.

For more information about the Rosemary Imagined process, visit http://rosemaryimaginedblog.com/

For questions, contact Megan Wooley, housing and neighborhood services planner for the Town of Chapel Hill, and Meg McGurk, executive director for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership at info@rosemaryimagined.com. Megan can also be reached at 919-969-5059, and Meg can be reached at 919-967-9440.

Date: 

Thursday, April 10, 2014 -
11:30am to 1:00pm

Location: 

Sky Lounge at Greenbridge, 601 Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill

Orange County Southern Branch Library Input Session

The Orange County Public Library (OCPL) will host two community engagement meetings regarding the proposed Southern Branch Library.

The purpose of the upcoming meetings is two-fold: to gather input on the current proposed location in downtown Carrboro, and learn what library services are needed by the community.

The meetings will be:

  • Tuesday, March 25, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Hickory Tavern, 370 E. Main Street, Carrboro
  • Saturday, April 12, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main Street, Carrboro

“Unlike typical input sessions, these meetings will be interactive, creative and fun,” said OCPL Director Lucinda Munger. “Facilitated group exercises will be held to determine how people want this library branch to look and feel. And comments will be taken regarding the library’s location and activities.”

“We hope to hear many ideas for this future library,” she continued, “and have a wide range of folks participate in these important discussions.”

Gift certificates and library tote bags will be given to meeting participants.

Orange County is currently evaluating space in the 300 East Main Street development in downtown Carrboro to locate a Southern Branch Library in 2017. The new library would replace the Carrboro Branch Library, in McDougle Middle School, and the Cybrary, in the Carrboro Century Center.

Date: 

Saturday, April 12, 2014 -
12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W Main St, Carrboro

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