The foundation is being laid on Eubanks Road for a $100 million-plus community that will transform the town’s semi-rural northern border and attract visitors from across the region.
It won’t all happen at once, said Adam Golden, vice president of development for Carraway Village developer Northwood Ravin. The first, $70 million, phase will bring 400 apartments in 10 buildings and 8,400 square feet of ground-floor retail to the 55-acre site, he said.
A $4.2 million plan to widen Eubanks Road, adding bicycle lanes, sidewalks and new intersections, including at N.C. 86 and Interstate 40, will follow in four to six months, he said. The town has agreed to pay $1.3 million of that cost by delaying annexation and refunding a portion of the project’s new property taxes.
Carraway Village — formerly known as the Edge — could welcome its first residents and visitors by the early fall of 2018, Golden said. The goal is a walkable community built around the social activity hub of a 16,000-square-foot Village Green.
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“Our vision for the project has always been to create a lifestyle 'destination' on the north side of town, with a mixture of uses, with options to live, work and play,” Golden said.
“The north side of Chapel Hill has already seen new projects at the Weaver Dairy Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard intersection with Charterwood and the Walgreens/medical office project,” he said. “I believe Carraway Village will help take the north side to the next level.”
At full buildout, the community could bring between 600,000 and 837,000 square feet of apartments, retail, office and hotel space and up to 23 low- and mid-rise buildings.
While Obey Creek — another multi-acre live, work and play community near Southern Village — struggles to find an anchor tenant that will get the ball rolling, Golden said Carraway Village’s location has an advantage.
“We are in active negotiations with several interested groups, although we don't have anything to announce officially yet,” he said. “We believe our site’s proximity to I-40, visibility with the two Gateway signs and approved entitlement (to use and develop the land) will make it stand out.”
An agreement with the town ensures affordable housing also will be part of that mix. The developer will seek federal tax credits or other financing to build 50 affordable apartments for families. The town could get the land in 10 years if Northwood Ravin hasn’t made progress.
Meanwhile, another Northwood Ravin project will open this month on West Franklin Street. The highlight of Carolina Square’s retail, office and apartment community will be the opening of a long-awaited Target store.
Other projects advancing around town include:
The walls are going up on Greenfield Place, 80 affordable family apartments in four buildings next to Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery on Legion Road.
While the average rent in Chapel Hill is about $1,400, the average rent at Greenfield Place will be $640, said Gregg Warren, president of Raleigh-based nonprofit developer DHIC Inc. Chapel Hill has identified rental housing as its greatest need, he said.
A second phase, Greenfield Commons, will add 69 affordable senior apartments. Town Manager Roger Stancil has not yet approved the plan — one of two approvals required in the Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment district — but the Community Design Commission has signed off.
The developments will include a new sidewalk and improved streetscape along Legion Road.
DHIC bought the nine-acre site from the town for $100, and the town — in partnership with Orange County — also is providing $1.2 million in funding and financing to develop the $9 million project.
DHIC secured additional tax-credit financing through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which requires it to meet strict design and energy-efficiency guidelines, and provide community and recreational space.
The apartments will meet half of the town’s goal of 300 affordable housing units in the Ephesus-Fordham district, which stretches from Legion Road to South Elliott Road and from East Franklin Street to Ephesus Church Road.
Station at East 54
Chapel Hill’s newest fire station is taking shape at the corner of Hamilton and Prestwick roads, behind East 54 and the Aloft Hotel.
The crew and trucks assigned to Fire Station No. 2 have been moved temporarily to a vacant UNC fraternity House on Finley Golf Course Road. East West Partners developer Roger Perry said they might be able to return later this year.
The second piece of The Station at East 54 project — the result of a $3 million public-private partnership with the town — could open in the early spring. That would include a 50,000-square-foot, four-story office building with floor-to-ceiling glass views of Finley Golf Course and the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit line. A 133-space parking deck would serve both buildings.
While the developer is paying the bulk of the cost, Orange County is contributing $500,000 and will base an EMS unit in the station. The town is providing the land and up to $665,000.
“It’s going to be a really cool project. To have an office building there that’s juxtaposed to the fire station; that’s a pretty good mixed-use deal,” Perry said. “It will be the best-looking fire station in the state.”