All posts in category Downtown Chapel Hill

Is Southpoint our hero?

I write a business column for a print publication in which I report on new businesses coming to town and those that leave. For the most recent issue, I had to dance around a bit, because the only business news I could dig up was businesses that had closed downtown. Gigi’s Cupcakes; Caribou Coffee; Top […]

Urban renewal

Don heard that a store in Burlington sold Cheerwine with real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup, and always one to encourage a healthy lifestyle, I went with him to search. I’d never been to Burlington beyond the outlet stores that used to flourish off the interstate until Tanger Mall lured them away. As we drove […]

Council must govern

Form-based code — it’s everywhere in Chapel Hill these days. First, Town Council approved it for 190 acres in the Ephesus-Fordham area. Currently, Northwood Ravin is trying to get the same liberties offered by form-based code, though it hasn’t used the highly charged term, in its proposed mixed-use development The Edge, at the corner of […]

Money talks

Council sank to a new low Wednesday night in its decision to sell 523 E. Franklin St. to the UNC College of Arts & Sciences Foundation, not because of who council sold it to but why. The foundation’s bid was the lowest and the only one of the three bids that would keep the property […]

Is the thrill gone?

I had a conversation not long ago with a musician, a mixed-race man in his mid-20s working a day job unrelated to music as he got his career started. At one point he asked where I was from, and I told him I lived in Chapel Hill. His eyes lit up. “I call it Chapel […]

Downtown, no waiting

Chapel Hill didn’t make GQ’s list of Best College Towns (When Students Are Gone) as Durham did, but we’ve got plenty going on all summer long – including at least one spot that wasn’t here before students took off for their summer adventures. Opening a new business just as a third of your customer base […]

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 […]