Raleigh developer of high-rise apartments in downtown Chapel Hill
More families could live downtown, including more than a dozen affordable apartments for sale on East Rosemary Street, if Chapel Hill approves plans to build the tallest building yet.
Raleigh-based TJ Capital II LLC is proposing 56 apartments for sale with about 3,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor of the 157-foot-tall building. Only 22 parking spaces were planned under the 12-story high-rise, but Bill Jackson, owner of TJ Capital II, has offered to work with the city on a long-term lease on the new parking lot.
Fourteen apartments can be allocated to individuals earning up to $56,650 per year or to a two-income family earning approximately $80,900.
The $80 million building will replace a two-story building that housed a variety of dive bars for the past 50 years. Current tenants include Vibez nightclub and The Gathering Place, a board game shop and bar. The 100 block of East Rosemary Street parallels the business district on East Franklin Street near the University of North Carolina campus.
At 157 feet, 157 East Rosemary could be the tallest building downtown if approved. It will be about 17 feet taller than the Grubb Properties office and wet lab building slated to replace the Wallace Parking Deck across the road at 150 E. Rosemary St.
The request indicated that the upper two floors would be covered with transparent glass and set back from the street.
Other downtown high-rises include 140 West Franklin, 105 feet; Greenbridge 135 feet; And Carolina Square is 138 feet. The new apartment building at 101 E. Rosemary St. is supposed to be as tall as 100 meters high. 90 feet but located on top of a hill overlooking East Rosemary Street.
The Chapel Hill City Council would have to rezone the 0.32-acre parcel at 157 East Rosemary to allow for taller construction. While this is double what the city planned for the north side of East Rosemary Street, project documents indicate the additional height is necessary to complete financing for an apartment building with affordable units.
The inclusion of 25% affordable housing also qualifies the development for the city’s New Community Priorities Review process, reducing the approval timeline to less than six months. The typical approval process takes 12 to 18 months.
Slightly shorter high-rises and a parking lot are in progress or awaiting construction in the 100 block of East Rosemary Street, marking a dramatic change from the mostly low-rise commercial buildings and parking lots that have lined the street for years.
The council will take its first look at plans for 157E. Rosemary Street on September 27th. The meeting begins at 7 p.m
▪ Developer: TG Capital II LLC
▪ location: 157 Rosemary Street
▪ to rise: 157 feet
▪ Current use: A two-storey commercial building with a parking lot
▪ Suggested use: 56 apartments for sale and 3,000 square feet of ground floor restaurant space with patio in a 12-story building.
▪ Affordable housing: 14 apartments for families earning up to 80% of the area median income for 99 years. The current median living income in Chapel Hill is $116,200 – a single person earning approximately $56,650 per year or a two-income family earning approximately $80,900 per year.
▪ parking: 22 spaces under the building
High-rise buildings and shared parking
The plan for 157 East Rosemary is slightly larger than the conceptual plan the council reviewed last year. That plan called for a 120-square-foot building with 50 rental apartments. It was expected that only five apartments would be rented at reasonable prices.
Developers have planned housing there since 2016, when property owner Paliourus Enterprises LLC proposed building an eight-story apartment building with limited parking. A revised plan for a five-story apartment building fell through in 2017.
Two main concerns with these projects were limited parking and building height. Owners of nearby commercial buildings, members of the Phi Mu club and residents of the nearby Franklin-Rosemary Historic District asked the council to reject both projects.
While the high-rise may seem out of place among the one- and two-story buildings and mid-rise parking decks that once lined East Rosemary Street, the city’s partnership with Cary-based Grubb Properties is already changing the landscape.
The partnership’s goal is to create an area that attracts high-tech and research companies with workers who can live downtown, increasing the vitality of the business district and attracting year-round customers to existing shops and restaurants.
Grubb Properties recently completed a state-of-the-art renovation of the decades-old CVS Building at 136 Rosemary Street and 137 Franklin Street – the cornerstone of the partnership between the developer, the city and the university to create the Innovation District.
The city is also building a new 1,100-space parking podium at 125E. Rosemary Street. When that deck opens, Grubb Properties will demolish the Wallace parking lot at 150 E. Rosemary Street and replaced with a seven-storey office and wet laboratory building.
The new Grubb Properties building, located at the corner of East Rosemary and Henderson streets, will include three levels of underground parking, ground-floor space for shops, restaurants and a public plaza.
The project will be 101 E. Rosemary St. The first residential building in the building. The plan does not include on-site parking.
(tags for translation) Rosemary Street