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125- to 145-Room Hotel Proposed for Chapel Hill, North Carolina

By Katelyn Ferral, The Chapel Hill News, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

April 11, 2012--CHAPEL HILL -- A hotel and more student housing could be coming to Chapel Hill.

Carolina Flats @ Estes would put a four-story, 125- to 145-room hotel and about 190 apartments designed for upperclassmen and graduate students at UNC at the northeast corner of Estes Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The studio, and one- to four-bedroom apartments would house about 590 residents in three or four-story buildings with 532 parking spaces, according to the development concept plan, a preview submitted to the town for feedback. before a formal submission.

The developer is Progresive Capital Group based in Orlando, Fla. Russ Greer presented the plan to the town's Community Design Commission in March.

The 16- acre site is currently zoned for single-family housing and would require a rezoning. It also has building restrictions because of its proximity to Horace Williams Airport that the developers says can be removed once the university closes the airport for construction of the Carolina North satellite campus.

The project is consistent with the town's current Comprehensive Plan and is needed as UNC's enrollment grows, the developers say, citing 1.3 percent annual growth since 1991 and 3,673 more students since that year.

"The steady growth of the University of North Carolina has been visible in the amount of construction on the main campus," according to the concept plan.

The property immediately north is zoned for high-density residential use. To the south, across Estes Drive, sits Amity United Methodist Church.

The Estes Neighbors community group opposes the project, according to their blog. During a Community Design Commission meeting, residents said the plan does not fit with the character and scale of their neighborhood, and would back up traffic near the area.

They also petitioned the Town Council last month opposing the plan.



(c)2012 The Chapel Hill News (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

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