Published: Mar 05, 2013 12:00 AM
Modified: Mar 05, 2013 06:21 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Residents found consensus last week on what they want at one of the town’s busiest intersections: green spaces, transportation alternatives, and retail closest to the busiest street.
The community workshop for the Central West small focus area looked mostly at undeveloped land near the intersection of Estes Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Several projects are on the table, including Chartwell, with 190 student apartments, a restaurant and a five-story hotel, proposed for the northeast corner. Across MLK Boulevard, the university could begin building its first phase of the Carolina North campus. UNC has an agreement with the town for up to 3 million square feet over 50 years.
The remaining swath of vacant land – to the southeast – has steep slopes and small creeks.
Retail uses at the intersection could include a restaurant, a grocery, or even a hotel, at least one group of residents said Saturday. However, they agreed it’s important to preserve the character of surrounding neighborhoods, where 15 percent of the town’s population lives.
The nearly 80 people who met at University Mall had different ideas about density and height. Many wanted “human-scale” buildings, no more than three stories. Others said buildings could be up to five stories along MLK Boulevard. There was a difference of opinion, too, about whether developers should build for as many people as possible to encourage more walking, biking or bus riders.