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.
<br /><br />
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.

Saw a local developer reading about this opinion on his smartphone yesterday. Impact on our development processes?

Keep Fleet Feet in Carrboro

Fleet Feet has been reluctantly considering moving their corporate headquarters and retail store out of Carrboro. This Tuesday, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen will consider an Economic Development Agreement under which Fleet Feet would stay in Carrboro and move into a new building at 300 E Main Street—putting their (greatly-expanded) national flagship store on the ground floor and their national headquarters above.

Information, Conversation, Imagination! Rosemary Imagined Community Event

The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the Town of Chapel Hill Economic Development Office are hosting this event. The information they have provided follows:

Information, Conversation, Imagination! 
Community Invited to Participate in Rosemary Imagined

Join community members, Town and University leaders, and downtown business and property owners from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, for the first in a series of community meetings about Rosemary Imagined. The kick-off will be held in the Sky Lounge at Greenbridge, 601 Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill. 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! Light refreshments will be provided. 


This community event is part of a 10-month process of engagement with the Town of Chapel Hill and the community to bring together several recent efforts by the community into a complete vision for the future of the Rosemary Street corridor. The Rosemary Street corridor was identified during the Chapel Hill 2020 process as one of the five Big Ideas; the "Big Ideas" are initiatives that embody the essence of the Chapel Hill 2020 goals and will serve as a beacon to guide the efforts of the Town and the community as Chapel Hill's future is created. In addition, the 2010 draft Downtown Framework and Action Plandeveloped strong new ideas about connectedness of streets and neighborhoods and has been followed by the adoption of the Northside and Pine Knolls Community Plan.


Rosemary Imagined process began in April with a grassroots effort to identify community stakeholders. The stakeholders hosted focus groups and identified themes, ideas and opportunities for Rosemary Street.  The ideas generated from these meetings, as well as a series of community meetings, will be used in framing a plan for the corridor. The results of Rosemary Imagined will be the basis for reevaluating the draft Downtown Framework and Action Plan and providing a new recommendation for the Council to consider adopting as a part of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan.


For more information, visit Contact Dwight Bassett at 919-969-5015and Meg McGurk at 919-967-9440 or contact them at



Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Sky Lounge at Greenbridge, 601 Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill

NC Ct of Appeals: Town can institute reasonable towing regs to protect health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors

Today the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a trial court ruling from last year that placed an injunction on Chapel Hill's ability to enforce its Towing from Private Lots Ordinance.  The law requires signage, provides for limits on fees, and requires multiple forms of payment be accepted by the towing company.  This is a big victory, not only for Chapel Hill, but for every community in North Carolina that regulates this kind of activity (Durham, Raleigh, Asheville, Charlotte, to name a few).  It is especially welcomed following last year's NC Supreme Court decision in Lanvale v. Cabarrus County that had county and municipal officials concerned about how far local governments could go in implementing local ordinances to protect its citizens.  (Not to mention the War on Cities the Gen Assembly has been fighting for the last several years).  Here's a link to the decision.  Very interesting read.

Chapel Hill's Dwight Bassett makes the case for economic development

Yesterday at noon, Chapel Hill's Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett provided a brief, one-hour presentation outlining some key facts and developments concerning retail, housing, and office space in Chapel Hill. The full presentation can be viewed here.

I attended and live-tweeted the meeting. You can see the play-by-play below.



Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.