300 East Main Project

The Herald-Sun reports,

Developers of the 300 East Main Street project in Carrboro have rearranged and resubmitted their application to town staff members in hopes of hastening the project's approval and possibly beginning construction toward the end of 2007.

The development, which will include a hotel, office space, retail shops and restaurants, has been broken into two separate conditional use applications, said Laura Van Sant of Main Street Properties, the company that owns the strip mall and surrounding properties.

Read the full story here.

Van Sant also said the hotel interested is a "mid-priced national chain." I'm eager to see a hotel in Carrboro, but I hope it doesn't come with huge, tacky signs.

What are other folks thinking about this project? Are there still concerns? Or are we ready for this?


This Carrboro resident thinks we're more than ready for the 300 East Main project to get underway. One hang-up has had to do with traffic, and I look forward to seeing how that's resolved. Construction will take a long time and be very disruptive to the businesses there. That's a concern.

I've been wondering where Visart will operate out of. Or will they just close temporarily? And of course the Arts Center would be harder to move, temporarily. Or maybe they are trying to build around these exisiting businesses?

When I Google, "hotel" and "mid priced national chain" I get this:


So, yes, I'm concerned.

I would welcome a new hotel to an underserved area such as Carrboro. Freaking Hillsborough has a Holiday Inn and Carrboro visitors have to leave town to lodge?

Like I said, I'd love to see a hotel here. Even an in-town B&B. But I hope whatever comes fits with Carrboro's vibe.

Do we have sign ordinances here? (Excuse my ignorance.)

Joan, we do have sign ordinances here. The Planning Department and the Appearance Commission look at dimensions, lighting, and placement.

oh NO! A Howard Johnson's? In hip and happenin' CARRBORO? Whatever shall we do?

Would a Hampton Inn or Days Inn be more acceptable?

Based on the way Wendy's looks in Carrboro, I have little fear that a Howard Johnson's, Hampton Inn, etc. will look anything other than appropriate for downtown. These chains are used to "fitting in" aesthetically in non-suburban locations all over the US.

I'd definitely rather see a locally owned hotel, but I'm also enthused about local lodging opportunities.

There are many good things about getting this project underway. Adding commercial space to the tax base is terrific. Lining up the outdoor portion to complement the WSM lawn has the potential to expand the many characteristics we love about the WSM lawn to other portions of downtown.

Most important though is that the folks working on this project have planned proactively for the public realm, and I think we will have a space that people will come from all over to visit.

Now if we could just bring our train station back to life and get them to arrive by rail...


I recently had to visit Ft. Lauderdale in the week between Christmas & New Year. Try finding a reasonably-priced hotel there during that time period. So I chose a Hampton Inn (which I've never stayed in before) and it turned out to be one of the most pleasing hotel stays I've ever had (and my work has allowed me to stay in some very nice hotels). It was in great shape (the Mgr. later told me they had just refurbished it since it was one of the earliest Hampton Inns built). The room, although not spacious, was laid out extremely well - excellent utilization of all the space. The bed was extremely comfortable and the complimentary hot & cold breakfast was more than adequate. But what made the experience so pleasant was that every single employee, from the front desk to the handyman, greeted us with a pleasant smile and word. Ever single one. I made a point to search out the manager and compliment him and his staff for providing such a pleasant stay. I would say that if Carrboro had such a hotel it would be an asset to the community. This experience reinforced my belief that it isn't just the bricks-and-mortar but what goes inside the building that counts.

Let's also consider the number and variety of jobs a real hotel (vs. B and B) will bring to Carrboro.

George-- I've had great experiences at Hampton Inns. And Days Inns. And even, *gasp*, Howard Johnson's. You are right...it's all about the management. Good for you for seeking out the manager and complimenting him.

I actually like Hampton Inn when it comes to mid-priced hotels. They have internal rooms, which means they could do something like an underground parking structure that would allow the outside to maintain a charming, Carolina Inn-esque downtown look and still have lots of space for parking. Whereas the Carolina Inn takes up an acre of space for parking (no, I didn't measure it out, that is a guess).

I personally like the towels at the Hampton Inn, but I also very much appreciate the pet-friendly policy of La Quinta. The bagels at the Hampton Inn are not so great, but the toasters work pretty well, and I like their jellies. Marriott-family hotels leave chocolates on the pillows! The irons at Sheraton-family hotels are high-tech and work fast. The soap at the low-end Hilton express hotels are exquisite.

Whatever, ya'll. I do think Carrboro is badly in need of some kind of lodging options beyond crashing on the couch at the co-op house. ;-)

I think the proposed plans for 300 East Main look pretty good so far, but I want to see more details. I really liked the plans they had posted online during the last round. Is there an updated version of that?

Does Carrboro really need a hotel? The new hotel on Franklin is too far for people to travel?

John A--

The new hotel on Franklin has a very different price point than a Hampton Inn. Perhaps you can afford $200+/night...but not everyone can.

I, for one, think a hotel in Carrboro is a great idea.

John, I read something where the folks at the Franklin Hotel were being compared to the Grove Park and other swanky places. It's going for the upscale crowd.

Not only is it way too upscale for most of us, the Franklin is not in Carrboro. If you were organizing a conference at the Century Center (a great facility!), folks would have to walk 15 minutes from the nearest hotel to get there. It's not awful, but it's not especially convenient either.


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