The Town of Chapel Hill has called a public hearing regarding possibly selling a small property located at 127 West Rosemary Street, that currently serves as a surface-level parking lot, to Investors Title Company.
The town and Investors Title would enter into an economic development agreement, under a proposal, which would include the sale of the land to Investors Title for $300,000.
Under the agreement, Investors Title, which is located on the adjacent property, would then use the two plots to “provide a larger, improved and reconfigured parking lot,” which would contain no less than 75 spaces and would be open as a public parking lot from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily at “commercially reasonable rates.”
Public parking would be available for a minimum of six years but could end sooner in the event Investors Title sells the property.
Council member Nancy Oates said during last week’s meeting that she was “disappointed” that parking would not be a guarantee if the property is resold or redeveloped.
“We’ve had so many things in the past where we thought we were getting parking and it turned out we didn’t,” Oates said. “And it seems like we built another loophole in this so that we don’t really have the parking if they decide to redevelop it.”
Mayor Pam Hemminger says she believes the parking lot will be around for longer than six years.
“They’re going to redo the whole parking lot area and make it nicer, and give it the openness to the town when we have peak needs of parking,” Hemminger said. “So, I see it as an economic development for health of the town and to change the tone of people saying they can’t find spaces.
“This is going to be one more highly visible, highly strategically located space for at least six years. I kind of think it might be longer, but when it’s worth more when it’ reassembled as a package.”
The mayor added it would be an upgrade to the overall lot as it stands.
“Our spot is very small,” she said. “It’s not lit; it’s not paved; it’s got somewhere between 10 and 14 cars leasing that space.”
The council voted unanimously to schedule the public hearing for January 17. A new council will conduct that meeting as four newly elected board members are set to be sworn in to the council on Wednesday, December 6.