Town and Gown Collaboration

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Create a thriving economy using the intellectual capital that the University and Town create Improve and expand access to the arts, culture, and intellectual pursuits

Improve downtown parking options Housing for students that is safe, sound, affordable, and accessible

The University, the UNC Health Care System, and the Town will coordinate closely to manage development in ways that respect history, traditions, and the environment while fostering revitalization and innovation

Promote access to health care centers, public services, and active lifestyle opportunities



Big Idea – Rosemary Street Hub



Draft Downtown Master Plan

Carolina North Development Agreement

  targetThe Council has established 4 goals toward this CH 2020 theme.


Project cost of Carolina Square, bringing apartments, office space and retail to 123 W. Franklin St. (formerly University Square). Completion expected in summer 2017.


Town and Gown Collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the UNC Health Care System on lifelong learning and innovation is the centerpiece of this theme. Participants aspired to use the intellectual and financial capital of the University and the UNC Health Care System to help the town flourish.


Community Voices


AKASH GANAPATHIAkash Ganapathi, 23, co-founder of Trill Financial

“My friend Simon Jung and I pursued this idea to use predictive analytics to scrape the internet for data. While we were students at UNC, we founded Trill Financial. Essentially, we do data analysis to optimize stock holdings. At Launch Chapel Hill, we have free office space – which is amazing because before, we were working out of our apartment and had all our computers set up on a ping pong table. We also have access to experienced mentors who are helping us on the business side of things. We would love to stay in Chapel Hill and grow our company here.”



ACTIONCollaborating on Wellness – We regularly receive the Healthiest Employers of the Triangle Award for our Wellness@Work program, established in June 2011 with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of Family Medicine. The program is resulting in significant health care cost savings for the Town and its nearly 700 full-time employees, while improving overall employee health. We believe in easy access to basic preventative, minor illness, and educational health services. Our program is designed by an employee wellness committee (top photo at right). 

Partnering on Community Fiber – Many Chapel Hill public housing neighborhoods are receiving free AT&T U-verse Internet under an arrangement negotiated by the Town. And residents across town will be able to sign up for AT&T U-verse Internet, TV and voice services over the next year. This access to ultra-high speed internet services stems from an agreement with the NC Next Generation Network (NCNGN), an organization that includes six municipalities and four leading universities. Chapel Hill has been selected as a destination for Google Fiber, making our community among a handful in the nation that will have two ultra-high-speed internet service providers. 

Capitalizing on intellectLaunch Chapel Hill – a partnership among UNC-Chapel Hill, the Town of Chapel Hill and Orange County, with support from a private donor, accelerates the development of start-ups by giving company founders access to a community of peers, a network of experts and the space, knowledge and resources to achieve success. Since its inception in January 2013, Launch has served 42 teams of all different industry types through the accelerator program. To date, Launch businesses have raised more than $5 million in outside funding and created 40 full-time positions and 21 part-time positions, many in the Triangle area. 

Expanding the arts together – The Core@Carolina – a new innovation lab, studio and theater to be located in downtown Chapel Hill at the Carolina Square development, will become the physical and intellectual home for world-class artists-in-residence to collaborate with scientists, researchers, students and the community. The nearly 8,500 square-foot facility is exciting new physical space for dialogue and inspiring insights.

Building New Beginnings for Homeless – The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service celebrated with a ribbon cutting (Photo No. 2) the opening of its new SECU Community House (bottom photo at right) – a 52-bed, $5.76 million men’s transitional shelter – in September 2015. UNC-Chapel Hill is leasing the 1.66-acre site to the Town of Chapel Hill at $1 a year for 50 years; the IFC will sublease the land from the Town. The Community Kitchen will stay at 100 W. Rosemary St. until a new planned center is built in Carrboro.

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