New Economic Development Series on WCHL and Chapelboro.com
An exciting new series with WCHL and Chapelboro.com will feature monthly interviews with staff from our department. Each interview will also have an accompanying edited transcript. Listeners and readers will get department updates and learn about initiatives the Town is taking to ensure a Vibrant Chapel Hill, Today and Tomorrow. The first interview with Program Coordinator Sarah Potter gave an update on the relocation grant program, mobility project, and events around Downtown. Katie Bowden, Economic Manager joined Aaron Keck in the second interview to talk about her background in planning and what projects she has been a part of since joining the team in the spring. Interviews air live on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 AM and will be posted to the series archive page here.
The series will help increase our engagement with a new audience and keep the community updated on projects more consistently beyond Town Council or committee meetings. Read an excerpt of the latest interview below:
“Aaron Keck: We’ve got a lot going on in downtown Chapel Hill. You mentioned the downtown Innovation District, which is going up (current construction between E. Franklin and E. Rosemary Streets.) How is the economic development office handling that?
Bowden: The Downtown Innovation District is an outgrowth of the downtown innovation strategy. And the idea is that we’re creating this downtown Innovation District that will result in retaining and attracting more startups and innovation-oriented businesses. There’s a lot of activity happening downtown, particularly on that 100 block of E. Rosemary. And the construction is an inconvenience, but I think it’s going to be totally worth it. Obviously, for what we have coming down the pipeline, the amount of redevelopment that’s happening along Rosemary and Franklin Streets is confirmation. We vote with our dollars. This is confirmation that others are also buying into this vision for downtown, but it is a balancing act. And we also need to retain small local businesses that are crucial to the fabric of our community. We heard from downtown businesses that are struggling with relocation pressure as a result of redevelopment. And we designed a grant program to help mitigate those impacts…”
Read the rest of this interview here.