Wed 30 May 2007
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If there was a theme to yesterday’s third community outreach on UNC’s Carolina North project it was “more of the same”. Same dearth of detail. Same soft sell of the economic benefits. Same back “peddling” (as in wheeling-n-dealing) on their functional commitments.
UNC Chancellor Moeser’s “quarterback”, Jack Evans, presented the major recalibration of Carolina North’s raison d’etre as a small side note during the revelation of the first increment of development.
According to Evans, the new plan projects that half the 2,550,000 million sq./ft. of development being done over the next 15 years will house extant initiatives already located on main campus, other UNC properties or rented facilities.
Prior to yesterday, Carolina North was touted as a catalyst for new jobs (“UNC-CH has plans for a state-of-the-art research campus that would bring as many as 20,000 new jobs to Chapel Hill over the next 50 years.” UNC seeks $25 million to start Carolina North N&O Nov. 16th, 2006).
Now, as far as employment, Carolina North has become a convenient place to site their currently dispersed workforce. Having said that, Evans cautioned that the balance between academic and economic development might change dramatically over time – tilting more towards academics as the necessity for moving folks off main campus increases.
In other words, Carolina North has morphed from Chancellor Moeser’s “catalyst for the economic transformation of our state” to what is really an overflow campus….
A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.
Video of Evans and companies May 29th, 2007 3:30pm Carolina North presentation.