New Developments in Chapel Hill


By Laurie Paolicelli

Condominiums Near Merritt’s Grill.

The Columbia Street Annex: The Chapel Hill Town Council approved plans for a four-story condo building across from Merritt’s Grill. The Columbia Street Annex will offer up to 69 condominiums and 3,000 square feet of commercial space, with a plaza near the main entrance at 1150 S. Columbia St. An existing crosswalk at Purefoy Road will be relocated and get a pedestrian-activated flashing light, a sidewalk and street lighting will be installed along South Columbia Street.

Projects under review or construction:


Park Apartments: 1250 Ephesus Church Road. Phase 1 is adding 308 apartments, four buildings and a 500-space parking deck to the 13-acre site. Phase 2 will add 106 apartments and eight buildings. The project also will include 207 bike parking spaces. Updates: Construction is underway on the apartments, the roundabout on Ephesus Church Road, and the Elliott Road Extension, which bisects the site. Expected completion in 2023.

Millennium Chapel Hill: 1301 Fordham Blvd. Millennium Chapel Hill is 3.9 acres, 274 apartments and 28 short-term lodging units. The five-story building will wrap around a six-story parking deck, accessible via the future Legion Road Extension.

Trilogy Chapel Hill: 1000 Novus Lane (1730 Fordham Blvd.) Trilogy (formerly Hillstone) has 323 apartments in two buildings. One five-story building wraps a parking deck and faces Fordham Boulevard; the other building is four stories with parking underneath, facing Legion Road.

Aura Blue Hill Address: 1289 Fordham Blvd. Project description: 274 apartments and 23,083 square feet of ground-floor commercial space in two, six-story buildings. One building would step down from six to four stories along Ephesus Church Road, with a rooftop terrace for events. Includes a seven-story, 409-space parking deck. Being replaced: A small home, Chapel Hill Baptist Church, and a two-story brick building housing The UPS Store, Domino’s, and other small businesses.


East Rosemary Parking Deck: 125 East Rosemary St. The town is building a 1,100-space, six-story public parking deck on 1.6 acres. Includes a ground-floor retail porch with space for food trucks and pop-up businesses, and a public park in the lower part of the Rosemary-Columbia parking lot.

150 East Rosemary: The Town Council has approved 150 East Rosemary, a 132-foot-tall building with 238,000 square feet of office and research space. It would replace the Wallace Parking Deck at Henderson and East Rosemary streets. Grubb out for pricing.

Link Apartments Rosemary: Going back to council for approval, which would bring 151 apartments and seven stories to the corner of Rosemary and Columbia streets.

Porthole Alley: During the creation of the 2019 Campus Master Plan, University leaders identified Porthole Alley — the area where Carolina’s campus meets downtown Chapel Hill between 134 and 144 E. Franklin St. — as a place for potential redevelopment. At its first meeting of the new year, the University’s Board of Trustees granted unanimous approval for both planning authority and approval of the site to proceed with a proposed redevelopment project that would create at least 120,000 square feet of retail and office space as well as a new home for Undergraduate Admissions and the UNC Visitors Center. To learn more about the Porthole Redevelopment Project, visit

Porthole Alley Redevelopment.

Crossing Franklin Street to the Site.

Rosemary-Columbia Hotel: A 92,500-square-foot Smart Hotels boutique hotel with up to 135 rooms on 1.3 acres. The L-shaped building will wrap around the historic Old Town Hall. It will include a rooftop bar and an 8,180-square-foot town-owned park.

Amity 5: 318-326 W. Rosemary St. Project description: Five four-story, 19,999-square-foot buildings are under construction at the former Breadmen’s site. A Raleigh student housing developer bought the nearly 1.3-acre site for $7.15 million. The former restaurant moved to Elliott Square on South Elliott Road.

Glen Lennox: N.C. 54 East and Fordham Boulevard Project description: The town approved a 20-year development agreement to build new apartments, offices, retail and a hotel on half — 70 acres — of this 1950s-era community, east of the UNC campus.

Link Apartments Linden: A 215-unit, 106,000-square-foot Gwendolyn office building, five-story parking deck, and a clubhouse and pool at Brandon and Flemington roads are wrapping up.

Link Apartments Calyx: The second phase — a seven-story building with 304 apartments and a parking deck — are approved for construction.

Aura Chapel Hill: North Estes Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Trinsic Residential Group is expected to build 361 apartments, 55 townhomes, and 12,450 square feet for retail, restaurant and offices on 14.7 acres at the corner of Estes Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Public amenities: Over 3 acres of green space, including a central plaza with fenced-in playground, a Central Park for activities and events, and a Woodlands natural area around a stream on the site’s eastern edge.

Aura Chapel Hill, North Estes Drive.

University Place: 201 South Estes Drive. Ram Realty Advisors are demolishing some of the existing mall — where Southern Season used to be — and replace it with a central green space. The mall’s interior-facing stores are being turned around to face the parking lot, and new green spaces and plazas, including a permanent home for the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market, are expected. The 43-acre site, at full buildout, could have roughly 500 apartments, 300,000 to 450,000 square feet of commercial space; 150,000 square feet for offices, and 150 hotel rooms.

Extended Stay Residence Inn Hotel: Summit Hospitality Group is expanding the hotel at the corner of Erwin Road and Dobbins Drive. The 17.7-acre project will add a four-story building and 54 suites to the 108-suite hotel. It also will add 10 two- and three-story townhouse buildings next door.

Carraway Village: Northwood Ravin has a plan for up to 837,000 square feet of apartments, retail, offices and hotel rooms on 55 acres at Eubanks Road, Interstate 40 and N.C. 86. A large Village Green is among the planned amenities.

Homestead Gardens: 2200 Homestead Road. The town of Chapel Hill, Community Home Trust, Habitat for Humanity, CASA and UNC Horizons are in planning on 115 to 126 townhouses, duplexes, and apartments on 14.3 acres.

Tar Heel Mobile Court: A redevelopment plan has been approved for this closed gas station at 1200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill and the 73 mobile homes behind it. Stackhouse Properties is adding a four-story self-storage building and a new gas station and convenience store to the 13.9-acre site. The plan preserves up to 83 mobile homes for at least 15 years.

“Building adequate housing in our communities delivers tremendous benefits for existing residents. It is a good deal for those already living in our towns and outlying neighborhoods, to say nothing of the desired opportunities for future residents who will continue the endless cycle of revitalizing the neighborhoods we love,” Dwight Bassett, Director of Economic Development & Parking Services, Chapel Hill.

Laurie Paolicelli is the Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

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1 Comment on "New Developments in Chapel Hill"

  1. Why does Laurie Paolicelli give information on the housing units affordability? That’s the real question on everyone’s mind, isn’t it?

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