All posts in category Downtown Chapel Hill

We did what this year?

What a ride 2013 turned out to be. Yet despite the ups and downs, we moved forward. We began the year with Town Council members choosing Sally Greene over 10 other well-qualified and diverse candidates to fill the seat Penny Rich vacated a couple months before. In the November election this year, Greene was elected […]

Parade of new businesses

The Holiday Parade marches down Franklin Street this Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. in front of the post office. Here’s a list of businesses along the parade route that are new in the past year, and some that have closed: Top This! opened in the former Jack Sprat Café spot. Insomnia Cookies opened where Clothes […]

Loopholes and buzzkill

You’re more likely to behave yourself if you live next door to your landlord. Jay Patel of, well, a few different business partnerships, but known by Chapel Hillians as the owner of the Franklin Hotel, apparently ascribes to that theory. At tonight’s Town Council meeting, he will present a concept review of Franklin Student Housing, […]

Small town, big money

The Age of Private Equity Transactions has arrived in Chapel Hill. Private equity transactions are nothing new; they got a lot of press coverage during the 2012 presidential race because Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital specialized in them and made Romney rich. This is the concept: Buy an asset with borrowed money; resell it at a […]

3 Birds struggles to fly

When it first hatched in 2010, 3 Birds could have nested anywhere in the country. The three founders – Layton and Kristen Judd and Leonard Wohadlo – chose Chapel Hill, in part because of the proximity to the young talent pool provided by UNC. Initially, 3 Birds hired as many as a dozen interns a […]

A roster with ballast

“Fling … ends” read the headline in a local newspaper over a story about candidates running for office. And as I read through the profiles of the final candidates to file for Town Council – Loren Hintz, Jonathan Riehl, Amy Ryan and D.C. Swinton – and the school board – Andrew Davidson and Ignacio Tzoumas […]

A new day

This morning, RAM Development announced it planned to convert all 140 condominums at 140 West into workforce housing. RAM chairman Peter Cummings said the idea came to him like an epiphany as he was driving along West Rosemary Street one afternoon. “I saw this bright light,” he said. “Maybe it was a sign from Heaven, […]

Whose fair share?

Turns out 123 West Franklin’s parking spaces and grassy courtyard weren’t for the public after all. In trying to defend its miserly contribution to affordable housing in the face of several council members’ criticism, developer Cousins Properties pointed to the courtyard green space and the pool of 150 to 200 metered spaces in its parking […]

Too big to donate?

Shortbread Lofts got off easy when it came to making a contribution toward affordable housing. Should that set precedent for downtown redevelopment projects going forward? Cousins Properties apparently thinks so. Cousins makes a return visit to council tonight for a zoning change and special use permit to tear down the existing University Square buildings at […]

Too lucky?

Council members must count how many of their colleagues attend an event lest enough of them gather in one place that they violate open meeting laws. Must they also count how many door prizes they win? The Friends of Downtown, at its holiday meeting on Dec. 6, gave out door prizes donated by downtown merchants. […]