Multi-use development designed as Chapel Hill's new city center
Posted October 22, 2015
Chapel Hill, N.C. — With a Thursday groundbreaking, Chapel Hill kicked off the development of a $123 million renovation to University Square on Franklin Street. The updated, live-work-play space is being re-christened Carolina Square and is set to open in August 2017.
"I think we can't even begin to imagine yet, what this will be like," University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt said.
Carolina Squareis a partnership between UNC and local developers that will include retail shops, office space for university groups including the Carolina Population Center and the Gillings School of Public Health, 246 apartments, an 8,500-square foot performing arts facility to be run by Carolina Performing Arts and a park.
"It's going to be a place that houses researchers. It's also going to have artists. It's going to be a place where they can experiment, try new ideas," Folt said.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt anticipates the completed project to serve as a town gathering place.
“When the council approved Carolina Square, we sought to transform a crumbling strip mall full of cars but not people, into a thriving downtown landmark where people could live, work and play,” he said.
When it is complete, Carolina Square's 43,000 square feet of retail space will be more than three times the amount in the entire rest of Franklin Street.