All posts in category Downtown Chapel Hill

Pioneering the Innovation District

Credit the JOBS Act for two recent Carolina grads stepping off a clear path to success and choosing to pioneer Chapel Hill’s fledgling Innovation District. Then-President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups legislation in 2012 to remove some obstacles to success for entrepreneurs. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s new regulations were finally enacted in […]

Commerce Buzz

Slow-news days have settled upon Chapel Hill, a lull before the storm of students arrives for the new academic year. But the retail world apparently didn’t get the memo. Businesses are opening and closing around town. Here’s what’s been happening: An “urban” Target opened in Carolina Square in late July. Its 21,000 square feet of […]

If we build it, they will park

We walked to our downtown E. Franklin Street church Easter morning to avoid a lengthy search for parking. The Morehead lot fills up quickly, as does Lot 2 on the corner of E. Rosemary and Columbia streets on a typical Sunday morning. Sometimes the Wallace Deck has no room, either. Bub O’Malley’s gravel lot used […]

Parking — It’s not just for cars anymore

Chapel Hill’s parking problem extends beyond where to put your car when you go downtown. A truly vibrant downtown needs spots for pedestrians to park their bodies when they are fatigued or simply want to people watch or absorb the ambience. Last Tuesday, University of Kentucky Professor Ned Crankshaw came to town and shared some […]

Don’t let Google be lonely

Google unveiled its new sign last week. The tasteful, illuminated logo on the Church Street side of 200 W. Franklin St. perhaps quelled fears that the town’s new sign ordinance would result in a wave of garishness overpowering our downtown’s charm. Chapel Hill has been Google’s home for the past decade, but few people knew […]

Launched

You might expect a low turnout for an event scheduled at the end of a hot day, toward the end of a week of hundred-degree days, in a warehouse venue with only a hint of air-conditioning. But as Thomas Edison said, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Last Thursday, the anteroom of TOPO Distillery […]

Loafability

How often do we hear the community — the people who live here or have businesses here or otherwise spend money here — tout the virtues of walkability? Some of us on council are pushing for creating a more walkable town by advocating for shorter block size (300 feet, tops) for new developments, more sidewalks […]

Ask, and get real answers

Someone needs to tell the town’s Planning Department staff that Chapel Hill already has an ordinance that governs bed-and-breakfasts. Oh, wait. Someone already has. Several someones, in fact — the former director of planning, the town attorney and multiple people in the community, including Chapel Hill Watch — going back more than 15 years. And […]

How about yours?

Community members at last Monday’s Town Council meeting turned the “not in my backyard” philosophy on its head, asking instead, “Why not your backyard?” At the Sept. 21 meeting, developers presented their proposed plan for Amity Station, a tall apartment building on West Rosemary Street where Breadman’s sits now. The parcel is in the Northside […]

Putting B&B’s to rest

When I read town staff’s original proposal for an ordinance to allow bed-and-breakfasts in the historic district, my first thought was: We’re eating our seed corn. In August, town staff unveiled a plan to allow homes in the historic district to convert to B&B’s of up to 12 bedrooms and as many as 25 guests […]