Downtown Chapel Hill

Economic Drivers


The Chapel Hill community envisions a densely developed urban center that features mixed-use development as a means to redeveloping downtown as an active center throughout the day and the nighttime hours.

Building upon the assets of the downtown and the community at large, Chapel Hill is a sustainable mixed-use district that builds community by being the Center of Education and Lifelong Learning, the Center of Arts, Culture, and Entertainment, and the Center of Urban Living.

Education and Lifelong Learning:

Chapel Hill was built on the educational excellence offered by the University of North Carolina. As a growth area, we envision downtown richly populated with educational based retail, service and professional businesses. Examples may include an educational supply retail store, a bookstore, or a computer store. We envision smaller educational campuses within downtown and we envision a network of educational professionals that need office and meeting space relocating downtown.

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment:

Downtown is the home of some of the state’s best cultural venues, including theAckland Art Museum and Memorial Hall. Our downtown district includes retail, service, and professional businesses centered around art, music, theatre, food, and southern culture. Franklin Street has historically been known through the bar-scene as a great place for fun, but downtown is also the place to hear live music or to enjoy dining out with family and friends. The Downtown Partnership’s vision is to expand the entertainment aspect to include jazz, blues, gospel and all forms of music, plus comedy clubs, community theatres and much more. Our goal is to make Downtown Chapel Hill the region’s first choice for fun and entertainment for all ages and all interests.

Urban Living:

Successful downtowns throughout the country are finding interest from students, young professionals, and empty nesters in living downtown. Chapel Hill is no exception. We envision a densely built downtown offering a wide array of housing options for all budgets, including apartments, condos, lofts, and more; all within easy walking distance of the shops, restaurants, and service businesses located downtown.