Roger Perry

I agree with Roger Perry!

In speaking to the Friends of Pat Evans, err, I mean Friends of Downtown, Meadowmont developer and Board of Trustees Chair Roger Perry identified the same problems that I have been talking about in regards to Chapel Hill's downtown.

"You have to treat downtown with deference," Perry said. "You've got to put more money into downtown than into outlying areas." That means more and better lighting and, in the case of one particular area, sidewalks.

"That we don't have sidewalks along Rosemary all the way is nuts," he said. "We're tying an arm behind our backs." [...]

Perry saved his most critical words for the "irresponsible ownership" of some downtown buildings. Without mentioning specific names, he riffed on "absentee owners" who don't act as good stewards of the town or their properties, allowing buildings to slip below fire code standards and otherwise exhibiting no sense of urgency in filling vacancies in prime retail locations.

Town Council Process for Development of Carolina North

On Thursday evening September 25th, at 7 PM, the Chapel Hill Town Council held a special meeting at the Friday Center.  In addition to all of the Council members (except Councilman Bill Thorpe who is absent due to medical issues) the Council Members were joined by UNC representatives Roger Perry (Chair, Board of Trustees), Bob Winston (trustee, Chair of the Building Committee) and Jack Evans, who is is chair of the Carolina North project for the University.

One of the important points that was made early by Roger Perry was that he and Bob Winston speak for the trustees and he gave assurances that anything that they agreed to in principle would be supported by the Trustees.  Another important issue was that of timing.  Roger pointed out that in July there will be 6 new trustees (out of 13) and that these new trustees would come in with little or no background.  Thus he urged the Council to consider a timetable that would complete by the Council's summer recess the necessary steps (e.g., rezoning, development agreement?) to allow Carolina North to go forward.

Mysterious acquisition

UPDATE: UNC is buying University Square and Granville Towers.

Anyone want to guess what this is about?

Representatives from UNC-Chapel Hill and the Town of Chapel Hill will hold a joint news conference at 1 p.m. today to announce details about a major real estate acquisition. The event will be held at the Chapel Hill Town Hall.

The news will have "significant positive implications" for the future of the downtown Chapel Hill business district, UNC officials said this morning.

This lesson brought to you by Meadowmont

I am on the mailing lists for most of the local governments, and most of the info I get from them is dull press releases, public notices etc. I perked up when I saw this subject from the city schools "Press Release--Planner to visit class" but was even more surprised to see the following content:

Local developer to visit class

Local developer Roger Perry will speak to fifth grade students at Frank Porter Graham about residential planning on Wednesday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The students have recently completed a unit on using Global Positioning Systems to study and create maps. The equipment was provided through a Student Enrichment Grant awarded to teacher Kristen Bedell by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation. The equipment used by the students in this unit is the same used by professional planners and developers to view plots and design projects.

What's in a name

I learned from the N&O's excellent new Orange Chat blog that Roger Perry's University Village project has changed it's name to "East 54" due to Chapel Hill Planning staff concerns that the "University" name could confuse emergency responders. The staff has raised the same issue about other recent projects such as "McCorkle Place" condos, which are located across from the UNC quad called McCorkle Place.

Problem is, while East 54 definitely sounds hipper, it's even more geographically ambiguous than the previous name - it's the name of an entire road!

Meanwhile, former Town Council member Pat Evans is reactivating the group calling itself "Friends of Downtown." (You know, as opposed to those enemies...)

The erstwhile Chapel Hill Downtown Commission set up the Friends of Downtown initially as a 501c3c nonprofit, so it could accept tax-deductible donations for the commission, Evans said.



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