“Downtown Imagined” Wants You!

Chapel Hill’s “Rosemary Imagined” project has expanded and become “Downtown Imagined” – and once again, the town is asking for your input.

Head to University Baptist Church on Monday, August 11, for a pair of drop-in meetings – one from 11:30 to 1:00, the other from 4:30-6:30. (The two meetings will be identical – come to whichever’s most convenient.) Town staff will deliver an overview presentation, but the primary purpose is to solicit community feedback on the project’s current status and gather ideas about future planning for downtown.

Town planner Megan Wooley and Meg McGurk of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership have been spearheading the project. They joined WCHL’s Aaron Keck on the air this week to discuss it.

For more information about the Rosemary Downtown Imagined project, visit RosemaryImagined.com.

University Baptist Church is located at the corner of Franklin and Columbia Streets in downtown Chapel Hill. The meetings will take place in the church’s Great Room.

http://chapelboro.com/news/development/downtown-imagined-wants/

This Monday, Imagine Rosemary

Meg McGurk is spearheading the “Rosemary Imagined” project, alongside Megan Wooley.

You’re invited to weigh in on the future of Rosemary Street this Monday, June 9.

The Town of Chapel Hill and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership are co-hosting a pair of “community review meetings” that day at Greenbridge, to discuss the latest developments in the “Rosemary Imagined” project and solicit more public input.

Launched last year, “Rosemary Imagined” is the ongoing project to create a vision for the long-term redevelopment of Rosemary Street. Currently there are three draft designs – incorporating ideas for parks, rerouted streets, tech centers, food markets, and more – but staffers (using feedback they’ve already received) are in the process of combining those three designs into one, which will be unveiled on Monday.

Meg McGurk of the Downtown Partnership and Megan Wooley of the Town of Chapel Hill joined Aaron Keck on the Afternoon News this week to discuss the project.

The first meeting on Monday will be from 11:30-1:00; the second will be from 4:30-6:00. Both meetings will take place in Greenbridge’s Sky Lounge – and the two meetings will be identical, so there’s no need to attend both.

Visit RosemaryImagined.com to see the latest drafts and to learn more.

http://chapelboro.com/news/local-government/monday-imagine-rosemary/

Honors, Tours, And Curiosities!

Congratulations to Desaray Rockett, Judith Blau, and Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe–winners of this year’s Pauli Murray Awards.

The Orange County Human Relations Commission gives out the Pauli Murray Awards each year to a youth, an adult, and a business in Orange County “who serve the community with distinction in the pursuit of equality, justice, and human rights for all residents.”

This year’s winners were honored at a ceremony on Sunday, February 23, at 3:00 in the Central Orange Senior Center. Also honored were Judah Kalb and Nathan Bell – both students at Smith Middle School, and both winners of the Orange County Human Relations Commission’s 2013 Student Essay Contest.

As part of a class on African American Studies, Kalb and Bell wrote about the lasting impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Kalb won first place in the essay contest; Bell took second.

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UNC has honored Roberto G. Quercia, chair of the City and Regional Planning department, with the university’s 2013 C. Felix Harvey Award.

Awarded by the Provost’s office, the honor recognizes “exemplary faculty scholarship that reflects one of UNC’s top priorities and addresses a real-world challenge.” It includes a $75,000 prize, which Quercia will use to develop the Bridges2Success Scholar Athlete Support Program, an academy that trains middle and high school coaches to promote academic success among male athletes of color.

To learn more about the program, visit Bridges2Success.org.

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You’re invited to the annual meeting of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, Wednesday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carolina Inn.

Speakers will include Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue and Al Bowers, the owner of Al’s Burger Shack.

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Before there were art museums and science museums, there were “Cabinets of Curiosities”: densely packed rooms where scholars and nobles displayed rare and fascinating items from shells to gems to old relics and bizarre devices.

Now, UNC’s Wilson Library is celebrating those old exhibits with an exhibit of its own, “Rooms of Wonder,” on display through April 20. The exhibit features rare books and catalogs from the old rooms–as well as items from the UNC Rare Book Collection’s own “cabinet of curiosities,” including ancient Babylonian tablets, an Egyptian papyrus roll, and an “Incan record-keeping device consisting of intricately knotted threads.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

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Wednesday, March 5, you’re invited to campus for a free screening of the documentary “Breaking Through,” chronicling the stories of LGBT elected officials across the country–including Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. Senator.

The film begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Nelson Mandela Auditorium in UNC’s FedEx Global Education Center. Director/producer Cindy Abel and editor Michael Bruno will be on hand, and the film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring North Carolina’s LGBT elected officials–including Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle, Town Council member Lee Storrow, Alderman Damon Seils, and State Representative Marcus Brandon.

You can watch the trailer online at BreakingThroughMovie.com.

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Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center just completed a successful canned food drive, collecting nearly 1,000 cans of food for the IFC by offering customers a $10 discount on oil changes if they brought in four cans of food.

IFC officials say those cans will be used to help about 450 different families in the area.

To learn how you can donate, visit IFCWeb.org.

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Chatham Habitat for Humanity is teaming up with the MassMutual Life Insurance Company to give away free $50,000 term life insurance policies to benefit children of working families in Pittsboro.

You are eligible to apply if you’re a permanent legal U.S. resident of good health between the ages of 19 and 42, with a total family income between $10,000 and $40,000, and a parent or legal guardian of a child under 18.

You can apply at a one-day public event on Saturday, March 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Chatham Habitat for Humanity office at 467 West Street in Pittsboro.

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You’re invited to explore the history of Hillsborough on Saturday, March 8, with a one-hour guided walking tour hosted by the Alliance of Historic Hillsborough.

The tour begins at 11:00 a.m. at the Hillsborough Visitors Center and winds through the center of the Piedmont’s oldest town, visiting schoolhouses, old homes and cemeteries along the way.

Tickets are $5 per person; children under 12 are free.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/honors-tours-curiosities/

Holiday Events To Check Out In Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL – The holiday season is in full swing, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Downtown Chapel Hill.

Meg McGurk, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, recommends that people check out the Carolina Inn’s month-long series of holiday events.

“There’s everything from holiday afternoon tea to brunch with Santa Claus. Horse-drawn carriages start this weekend,” McGurk says. “Also, the whole Inn is decorated very festively with a theme of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas,’ so it is really exciting to go in there.”

The Carolina Inn also offers self-guided tours of the decorations, cookie decorating sessions, and a display of gingerbread houses.

After Christmas, McGurk says there will still be events to look forward to. Morehead Planetarium is hosting a free New Year’s Eve event for the whole family.

“No one was doing really a kid-friendly [event]. This is early in the afternoon from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., so come out, enjoy,” she says. “There’s going to be performances, lots of activities for kids,  as well as their own version of a countdown. There could not be a more perfect place to countdown than in Morehead Planetarium under the stars.”

And good news for everyone—parking in metered spots and off-street lots is free on Saturdays and Sundays in downtown Chapel Hill  through the end of December.

For a full list of all the events going on this holiday season, you can click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/entertainment/holiday-events-check-chapel-hill/

Bicycle Apartments To Bring Hundreds Of Students Closer To Downtown Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL – The Bicycle Apartments—a $20-million student-housing project less than a mile from Downtown Chapel Hill—broke ground Wednesday morning. Town leaders say it will re-invigorate the Downtown economy in more ways than one.

Meg McGurk is the executive director for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.

“Students are such a vital part of our local economy. Having them in a well-maintained, well-managed living community right Downtown is really tremendous. It’s going to be a great impact for all of us,” McGurk said.

Trinitas Ventures LLC, a national developer of student housing communities, is backing the project. The plan is to knock-down the existing three, 2-story apartment buildings at the Central Park Apartments location at 602 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

194 apartments — or 608 units— will be built in its place. The complex was designed in compliance with the LEED accreditation system.

“This is what we call student housing by design. This is a unique property for Chapel Hill. There isn’t a complex like this yet so this is groundbreaking. This is something that is needed in our community.” McGurk said.

 

Hard Hats

Bicycle Apartments Groundbreaking Ceremony

 

The property management staff will live on-site in the complex.

“We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to bring a product where we can re-develop a space and build a by-design complex that is close to the students, close to the center of campus, and close to the center of town,” said Travis Vencel, the vice president of development for Trinitas Ventures.

Aaron Nelson, the president and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, says he’s excited to bring more students closer to Downtown.

“600 students will be with-in walking distance to the center of Downtown,” Nelson said. “The businesses there are very excited about it because there will be more shoppers, more eyes on the street, and more people coming to and from campus. We’re bringing students in from other communities where they are living right now.”

Nelson says it’s a good time for Downtown Chapel Hill. 140 West, the eight-story $55 million development on Franklin Street, opened last month. The building contains 140 residences and 26,000 sq. ft. of retail.

“Downtown is in a renaissance right now,” Nelson said. “We’re getting additional housing, additional retail, and more restaurants—so it is really an exciting time for Downtown.”

The Bicycle Apartments are slated to open in 2014, just before the beginning of the school year.

http://chapelboro.com/news/development/bicycle-apartments-to-bring-hundreds-of-students-closer-to-downtown-chapel-hill/