Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

Downtown Chapel Hill - A Year in Review 2011

2012 is coming fast.  Let's take a minute and reflect on 2011 before it's gone.

2011 was another dynamic year here on Franklin Street with big events, memories made, and things changing.  Let's roll through some of the big things that happen on Franklin Street and Beyond!  I'm sure we left off some great things that happened downtown this year; let us know your favorite things by commenting on Facebook & Twitter!

Winter (January-March)

  • Groundbreaking at 140 West Franklin where Lot 5 used to stand in January.  Scheduled to be completed at the end of 2012
  • Light Art Design opens at Greenbridge.140 West begins construction
  • Chapel Hill Training holds their Grand Opening.
  • Rumblings of the reopening of The Rathskeller continue.
  • UNC Basketball begins 2011 with a great run of wins on their way to the Elite Eight.
  • Club Pulse opens on East Rosemary Street.
  • Front Porch opens on East Franklin Street.
  • 4 Boutique opens as a pop-up shop on East Franklin Street.  With the goal of being open for four months, two UNC Students open the shop to raise funds and awareness for community organizations. 
  • Interactive Parking Guide launched in March.
  • Church Street closes for construction at 140 West in March.
  • Downtown Chapel Hill hosts the fourth annual Tar Heel Ten Miler.
  • Food Truck discussion begins.  The Downtown Partnership begin surveying downtown stakeholders on opinions.

 Spring (April-June) Ackland Store Opens

Summer (July- August)

  • Locally Grown carries on with movies and concerts in the heat of July.  Fake interviews ensued; here's Johnny Depp; here's Voldemort.
  • New West Franklin Parking Lot opens next to Lantern in July.Mandolin Orange Concert, Locally Grown
  • UNC Football coach Butch Davis is fired in connection with an NCAA investigation.
  • Everett Withers is named interim head football coach.

Fall (September-December)

  • Free Night Parking rolls out on RBC's Turtle Lot in September.
  • Estate Boutique opens on West Rosemary Street offering men's apparel.
  • The Town of Chapel Hill launches promoting business development.  
  • Bread & Butter opens on West Rosemary Street offering fresh bread daily as well as a great coffee shop.
  • Guru India opens on West Franklin Street offering Indian cuisine. 
  • Southern Living names Chapel Hill one of the best college towns in the country.  
  • Downtown Mobile App launches helping users find their favorite businesses along with the best parking options in October.
  • The Downtown Partnership organizes the fifth annual Project Connect providing direct services to homeless and at-risk people in the community in October.
  • Downtown Chapel hosts Festifall, the annual arts festival on West Franklin Street
  • Downtown Brochure is published in it's completely new form designed in-house at the Downtown Partnership.  
  • Halloween went down and it was another safe successful event.
  • West End Public opens on West Franklin as a new conference space option in Downtown Chapel Hill with an annual home-brew fest.
  • The Good Neighbor Initiative has it ___th celebration celebrating community at the Hargraves Center.
  • Greenbridge is sold to new owners in October.  Hopefully sales and leasing will resume in short order.
  • Haircuts at Project Connect!The West End Art Installation begins with graffiti removal and general space cleanup in October.
  • The Speaker Ban Marker is dedicated at the entrance of McCorkle Place.  
  • Occupy Chapel Hill begins on Peace and Justice Plaza.
  • Someone proposes in front of Sugarland in November.  
  • UNC Basketball Kicked of November 11 at the Carrier Classic, the first ever NCAA Basketball game held on an air craft carrier. News Flash, We Won!
  • Lucky Star Market opens on Graham Street next door to Back Alley Bikes.
  • Kidzu reopens at their new location at University Square.  They are still fundraising for their next home in a new building atop Wallace Plaza in Downtown.  Check out their new space!
  • The Standard opens on West Rosemary Street.  Review
  • Cholanad opens on West Franklin Street offering contemporary southern Indian dining.  Video
  • The Chrysler building on West Franklin Street is broken into on November.  The subsequent events caused quite a stir as well as delaying the art installation which was scheduled to be hung in the building.  
  • Jackson, a new women's casual clothing store opens on East Franklin Street above Princeton Review.  
  • The Downtown Partnership installs cigarette receptacles in various locations on Franklin Street funded by a "Keep America Beautiful" grant.
  • The Downtown Partnership hosted the annual Holiday Tree lighting ceremony.
  • Holiday Concert at Franklin & ColumbiaThe Downtown Partnership hosts the first annual Holiday Concert on the corner garden of Franklin & Columbia Street on December 3 featuring local musicians.
  • Chapel Hill Holiday Parade marches it's annual route down Franklin Street.  Watch a video.
  • The West Franklin Art Installation is completed on December 9.  Watch a video of the whole process!
  • Sweet Frog Yogurt opens on East Franklin Street offering self serve yogurt.