On Business

On Business: Mill House teams with Habitat on new home

June 17, 2014 

From left: Mill House team members Ryan Jones, Angela Huffman, Eve Greene and Adam Jones

Mill House Properties, a Chapel Hill property management company, recently teamed with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to build a new home.

Volunteers had the opportunity to learn the process from the ground up. According to Adam Jones, owner of Mill House Properties, some members of Team Mill House had very limited experience with tools and building. Although many had only ever swung a hammer to hang a picture, by day’s end the team was driving nails and framing walls.

“Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is a great organization whose staff and volunteers work tirelessly for the greater good of our community,” Jones said. “We were thrilled to be out there and do a little something to help.”

Habitat for Humanity connects people and resources to help families in need build and own quality, affordable homes in safe and supportive communities.

On the move

Downtown Chapel Hill’s Franklin Hotel is among one of the first five properties to be named to the Curio boutique hotel brand by Hilton Worldwide. The 67-room Franklin Hotel has been independently owned since its 2007 opening. With the rebranding, expected later this year, the hotel will have access to Hilton’s reservation and loyalty points systems.

Fine Feathers has found a new nest at University Mall. Since 1976, the boutique has been offering clothing, accessories and skin care products to the Chapel Hill community. “University Mall has gone through a tremendous rebirth over the last year, bringing in numerous new retail and dining options for the Chapel Hill community,” said Peter de Leon, the mall’s general manager. In recent months, Kidzu Children’s Museum, fitness retailer TrySports and William Travis Jewelers have opened at the mall.

Table hopping

Spicy 9 Sushi & Asian Restaurant has opened at 140 West Franklin. The new-age restaurant serves a menu of choices from Thailand, Korea, China and Japan. Spicy 9 is the newest offering at 140 West Franklin, a mixed-use development of residential and retail spaces in the heart of Chapel Hill.

Thomas Thorne has joined Il Palio Ristorante at the Siena Hotel as restaurant manager. Thorne was previously a sommelier at The Fearrington House and The Carolina Inn, and has worked in management positions with wine retailers.

Persons of interest

Kim Dawson has been appointed as broker-in-charge of the Chapel Hill office of Coldwell Banker Advantage. Advantage has recently expanded into the Chapel Hill market with its recent merger with locally owned The Home Team. The firm’s office will remain in the Timberlyne Shopping Center.

It’s on!

With the long winter behind, the outdoor pool at the Hargraves Community Center is now open for the summer season. Operated by the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department, the free pool offers lap swimming, a zero-depth entry pool, and a wading pool for younger children and toddlers.

The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill will double the size of its Old Mason Farm Road site. The expansion, slated for completion in the fall of 2015 will add 24 guest rooms, kitchen, laundry and play facilities, and a welcome center. The Ronald McDonald House provides a temporary home for the more than 2,000 families of children treated annually at UNC Hospitals.

The Chapel Hill chapter of SCORE recently ranked No. 2 out of 334 chapters nationwide on a client engagement survey. SCORE, a non-profit organization under the U.S. Small Business Administration, pairs retired business people with local entrepreneurs and small business owners in their community.

Beginning June 1, the Ackland Art Museum and Ackland Art Museum Store has eliminated Thursday evening hours. The museum and store will continue to hold opening receptions and other special programs in the evenings. Admission to the UNC’s Ackland is free.

Do you have a small business item to share? Email Marlee Margulies at

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