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Changes In Store For Chapel Hill's Franklin Street

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Franklin Street may be getting a facelift. The Chapel Hill Downtown Commission wants to spruce things up to draw more people to the town.

"We who know the businesses and the street say we should never be complacent," said Pat Evans of the Chapel Hill Town Council.

A recent study suggests that merchants need to add color to storefronts, provide larger signs and brighter lights.

The study also shows that the town should focus on bringing national chains to the downtown area.

"Bringing corporate America to a small town like Chapel Hill is ridiculous. It takes away from the flavor of what Chapel Hill is all about," said Sebastian Delcid, a Franklin Street business owner. "The problem I see right now is people who say 'Why go to Chapel Hill when it's so difficult to park?'"

Right now along Franklin Street, the mix of merchants is made up of 80 percent independent stores and 20 percent national chains. The commission said, for the most part, they hope to keep it that way.

Changes made along Fraklin Street would be subtle and gradual. Consultants said it could take five to 10 years to make over a street.


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