CHAPEL HILL-Adam Golden is the vice president of development for Northwood Ravin, the company that’s been planning the Edge project for more than a year. He came before the Chapel Hill Town Council this week to ask the town to help pay for the $3.5 million dollars worth of road improvements needed to widen Eubanks Road.

“Please consider participating in these road improvements to fix an existing condition that is already in trouble,” said Golden. “Enable the Edge to move forward. Open the northern edge of town for economic development opportunity.”

The Edge is a 54-acre site on Eubanks Road next to the town’s Park and Ride lot. Golden says the proposed project would be pedestrian and transit-oriented, with a mix of retail, residential and office space. But he told the council it can’t happen without help.

“Our firm can absorb some of the costs associated with The Edge, but we cannot absorb all of the costs associated with some of this background improvement that’s required,” said Golden.

Town officials and representatives from NC DOT agree that to support the proposed development, Eubanks Road needs to be widened with new turn lanes and bike lanes.

The developer is planning to submit a formal application soon, but council members said they couldn’t offer any guarantees that the town would contribute to the road improvements. Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said the council would be willing to listen but could not make a commitment.

“There is no way that the Council can provide you assurance today or this week that the end of those discussions is going to be affirmative and that you’re going to have that level of participation that you seek,” said Kleinschmidt.

Golden said his company would likely abandon the project if the town decides not to chip in. “If we can’t get help with the improvements, we may be left with a project that’s not feasible.”

Council members agreed to refer the matter to staff for a report, but warned Golden they would not likely have a reply any time soon.