Skip to content

Get Connected & Stay Informed

Access networks, knowledge, and a team of professionals dedicated to helping you thrive.

Lower Your Business Expenses

Save money on small business health and dental services, credit card processing fees, workers’ comp coverage and more.

Increase Your Community Impact

Successful businesses create successful communities and we are passionate about both. Get informed, get engaged, and make your voice heard.

The Chamber's Calls on the Chapel Hill Town Council to Authorize the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project Agreement

The Chamber's Calls on the Chapel Hill Town Council to Authorize the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project Agreement

*Update on 10/1/20: Council voted 5 to 3 to approve the redevelopment agreement on 9/30/20! Watch the discussion and Chamber Katie Loovis' remarks.
*Note on 09/29/20: This Wednesday evening, September 30, 2020, the Chapel Hill Town Council will take three decisions related to the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project, including (hopefully) authorizing the agreement. Below is the The Chamber's letter of support sent by Chamber President and CEO Aaron Nelson on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors, Government Affairs Committee, and it's 700+ members. 

Dear Chapel Hill Mayor and Council, 

In my personal capacity as a 30-year resident of Chapel Hill and in my professional capacity as President and CEO of The Chamber, I write to ask you to support the exciting East Rosemary Redevelopment Project.

More than 60 business and community leaders serve on the on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee and I write to share our enthusiasm  for the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project and extend our sincere appreciation to you and town staff for working so diligently to structure such a thoughtful and comprehensive economic development agreement. 

As you know, among its many positive benefits, this agreement will help transform 40-year old deteriorating buildings into state-of-the-art modern structures, deliver 200,000 SF of wet lab/office space (an $80 million private investment), support relocating UNC Admissions to downtown, add desirable green space, and improve access to customer and employee-serving infrastructure, including parking.

This agreement is critical to the future and sustained success of our downtown and will play an important role as we rebound from the current recession and public health crisis.  You have received letters of support for this project from my colleague Katie Loovis, longtime downtown champion and business owner Scott Maitland (both pasted below), and others. Today, after reviewing the agreement even more closely, we want to add two more points for your consideration: 
  1. First, the agreement structure is well-defined and has well-managed risk. It is clear that staff have used very conservative financial models, structured the agreement to leverage the town’s self-sustaining parking revenues, and ensured that the agreement will not impact Chapel Hill’s debt capacity or the Town’s ability to borrow for other priorities. With your due diligence and third party review, you are meeting and exceeding your fiduciary responsibilities.
  2. Second, as we learned during the Inter-City Visit to Bloomington, Indiana, Town investment in infrastructure is necessary to attract the private capital investments required for an activated and sustainable downtown and is necessary to support the office and lab space we desire. Structured parking, coupled with a strong transit system, are essential elements to attract investment and to bank the redevelopment and new development we will need to make downtown a hub for innovation and a regional employment center. 
In closing, this is a transformative agreement that will bring to life our community’s long-held vision for our downtown and accelerate our economic recovery. The team at Grubb Properties has shown again and again their commitment to our community and our values, and they have proven to be a trusted and valued development partner. We encourage you to vote to approve this agreement, move forward with the land exchanges, and make this remarkable partnership a reality. 


Aaron Nelson

From: Katie Loovis
Sent: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 3:03 PM
Subject: Support from the Chamber for the 125 and 135 E Rosemary Street Parking Garage Rezoning 

Dear Chapel Hill Mayor and Town Council,

On behalf of the Chamber, our Government Affairs Committee, and our 700+ members that employ more than 95,000 workers throughout the region, we want to express our enthusiastic support of the vision for 137 E. Franklin and 136 E. Rosemary.

We encourage you to move forward this evening with a public hearing and approve the 125 and 135 East Rosemary Street Parking Garage rezoning – an important part of the overall vision for downtown. 

There are so many elements to this deal that make it an incredible opportunity for Chapel Hill, namely:
  • First and foremost, we need more commercial space and employees in downtown, and this vision will help bring that to reality.
  • This concept consolidates surface lots and delivers highest and best use of space, and is consistent with the comprehensive plan.
  • The funds for the parking arrangement are from the town’s enterprise fund, which is part of the infrastructure to spur economic growth. These funds are designed to deliver on exactly what is being presented and the market-based approach to these funds make it self-sustaining as the demand remains strong for the parking spaces despite the recession.
  • The timing is ideal, as it makes sense to press forward with the project so that it is ready and activated as we come out of this recession. This is what we are seeing occur all across the country.
  • Grubb Properties have shown again and again their commitment to our community and values, and they have proven to be a trusted and valued development partner. They deserve a fair and reasonable process without delay and with our utmost appreciation.
Thank you for your consideration.


Katie R. Loovis
Vice President for External Affairs
The Chamber & Carrboro Business Alliance | 919-696-0781 (cell)

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maitland 
Sent: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 4:29 PM
Subject: Please Support Grubb Building/Parking Deck

To the Mayor and Council Members,

First of all, thank you all for  your selfless service.  No matter if I agree or disagree with you on any given issue, I am so very thankful for citizens like you who are willing to serve our community in what is surely a thankless job most of the time.

I am writing tonight to express my support for the Grubb Building/Parking Deck. For the almost 25 years I have operated Top of  the Hill, I have been advocating for a project like this.  There are so many positives to this project that I am not sure I can list them here.  But here are a few:

1) Would help end the perception that there is no parking downtown.

2) Would make it easier for visitors to navigate the downtown parking issue and facilitate visitors to downtown from far away or just from in town.

3) Would help bring more WORKERS downtown which I have long believed was more important than residents.  WORKERS spend more money as they buy coffee, lunch, and after work cocktails and dinner.

4) Would facilitate use of the deck all around the clock. The deck would be able to host workers during the day, and then be ready to accept dining and entertainment patrons at night.

5) Would be a higher and better use than just surface lots and an old parking deck which is inefficient and considered to be unsafe.

6) Would be coming online at the right time and facilitating a skill set (wet labs) that the University has pegged as being one of their most important needs since I was chair of the UNC board of visitors in 2004.

7) Would position downtown as a place to start a business leveraging off of the wetlands and office workers.

I could go on and on.  Parking has been an issue for the 25 years I have been here.  This project would do a lot to help address some of the structural challenges that have always existed.  Please don’t miss this chance to create a lasting positive impact on our downtown’s well being.


Scott Maitland
Top of the Hill
Powered By GrowthZone