UNC Health Care submitted a concept plan to the Town of Chapel Hill in late December 2017 that called for a redevelopment of university-owned property along 15-501 at the western intersection of Eastowne Drive near I-40.

While the initial plans called for two six-story buildings that would house 300,000 square feet of medical office space, university officials wrote in a letter to the town dated Friday, March 2, that the special use permit application from UNC Health Care would represent a “significant reduction” from the original plans.

Officials described the new plans as being half of the original concept design, with one six-story building with 150,000 square feet of office space and a parking structure. The new six-story facility would replace four buildings currently on the site.

The town would have to agree to a change in the zoning, according to the letter, to allow for a six-story building rather than the current regulations, which limit building height to three stories.

UNC Health Care officials are proposing that a process be started “in parallel with starting construction of the first medical office building” to allow for a collaborative master planning process for the site’s remaining 39 acres. In the timeline proposed by the university, that would begin over the course of this summer.

“The master plan intends to foster alternative transit modes and anticipates bike trails, bus stops, and a walkable connection to the planned Gateway light rail transit stop,” UNC Health Care officials wrote in the letter.

The first concept plan went before Chapel Hill’s Community Design Commission and Town Council in late January. In UNC Health Care’s proposed timeline, the Town Council could vote on the newest proposal in late May of this year before construction could begin this summer.

The letter from UNC Health Care said the special use permit application would be submitted to the town on March 6, but as of this posting that application was not listed on the town’s website.