Published: Jun 19, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Jun 28, 2011 11:31 AM
CHAPEL HILL - A new development proposed for Eubanks Road could bring three major retailers and more transit opportunities to the northern part of Chapel Hill.
The EDGE, 2012 Eubanks Road, would be located on 72.6 acres with Interstate 40 to the east and the Chapel Hill Operations Center to the west.
The mixed-use village would include the town's park and ride lot. Developers are proposing a land swap with the town to integrate the Eubanks Road lot into the site and build an 1,800-space parking deck and a bus station. Landscaping would screen any additional surface parking from the road.
An internal street would run through the development with walkable shopping, restaurant, office, residential and hotel space (See map, page 10A). The retail space would include space for three national chains, said Jeff Pape, president of D&A Development and Consulting, out of Atlanta, Ga.
"We do hope to bring national-name tenants in here that aren't currently in Chapel Hill," he said. "That is absolutely the intent: high-quality, national-name tenants."
Pape declined to comment on tenants, but local business leaders have floated Costco, Target and B.J. Wholesale as possibilities.
In addition to the bus station and parking deck, the project's concept plan proposes widening Eubanks Road to four lanes.
"Adding the transit nature into it is the essential partnership that's going to need to be created between the town," Pape said. "This really is going to be clustered with one of the major components being the park-and-ride facility."
The town hired a landscape architect to work as a intermediary between the town and developers for the EDGE project. It's a new approach to helping developers understand the town's approval process and expectations, said Dwight Bassett, the town's economic development director.
"I think we've attempted to balance all interests," Bassett said. "I think there is market demand for this project."
A special use permit application for the plan is expected to be submitted around November, he said.
The EDGE would increase commercial tax revenue and also provide needed blue-collar jobs for the area, particularly for high school students, said Aaron Nelson, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.
"It's the right time in the right place," he said.
Orange County residents spend about $1.5 billion on retail purchases, and about one-third of that is spent outside of the county, Nelson said.
"This gives us a great opportunity to not only capture our local sales tax but ... pull sales dollars from other communities."
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