Rehab of 136/137 buildings set to transform downtown Chapel Hill

by Abbey Slattery

Downtown Chapel Hill is primed for expansion.

With the rehabilitation of 136 East Rosemary Street and 137 East Franklin Street by Grubb Properties, Inc., the downtown corridor is slated for a major transformation.

“It’s one of the most significant projects that’s happened in Chapel Hill, probably since the Carolina Square project was done years ago. This has the potential to house hundreds of office workers and high-tech workers that we really have not had in any great density in Chapel Hill before,” said Doug Rothwell, an executive-in-residence for economic development with the University of North Carolina’s Innovate Carolina. “When you look at other college towns, many of our peer universities have a lot of high-tech employees working in the town and the community in which that university resides. The Research Triangle Park is certainly not that far away, but we don’t see as many of those jobs in downtown Chapel Hill as you might expect. This gives Chapel Hill an opportunity to do something that it hasn’t seen in the past.”

In addition to his role at UNC, Rothwell also serves on the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership board, which has been working closely with the town to facilitate this project.

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