UNC and the Town of Chapel Hill recently shared new updates within the East Rosemary Street redevelopment project. In addition to ongoing construction with the Rosemary Parking Deck, the innovation district gained its first business partner.

The redevelopment of East Rosemary Street by Grubb Properties and the Town of Chapel Hill includes construction green spaces, parking deck and office building as part of an “innovation district.”

The university announced the first business partner of the innovation district on Friday.  BioLabs is a co-working space for life science startups and will operate out of the new building. UNC said its goal with BioLabs is to launch one new research-based startup from the university each month.

The hope is these startups will remain in Chapel Hill and benefit the town and university – something Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said she is excited about.

“Bringing new year-round employees here is just one component of our plan to harness the energy of UNC, retain talent in our community and make downtown Chapel Hill a more welcoming and exciting place for everyone in our community,” the mayor said in a release.

Construction of the newer seven-story East Rosemary Street parking deck is set to occur through next summer. At a public information meeting Monday, the town said the timeline for it to be open is set for October 2022.

The second phase includes construction of the office building, which UNC and the Town of Chapel Hill envision being an innovation district.

During a Chancellor’s Economic Development Council meeting, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said there has been great progress with the town and UNC’s economic partnership.

“The work that the town and university are doing together will build on critical projects such as the redevelopment of downtown’s largest office building, opening a modern central parking structure and expanding outdoor dining,” Guskiewicz said in a release.

UNC and the Town of Chapel Hill also announced other projects at the Chancellor’s Economic Council meeting. One is an adopt-a-block beautification program for the 100 blocks of East Franklin and South Columbia streets. Additionally, the university is requesting proposals to establish a co-working space within the East Rosemary district.


Photo via Town of Chapel Hill

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