Council’s Conflict of Interest?

RAM Development, our town’s partner in an increasingly troubling downtown development project, is now looking to build the largest condominium project in Chapel Hill’s history. Sited along Hillsborough Rd. on the current Townhouse Apartment parcel, the project would include 335 condos in 6 story blocks.

Without a site proposal, it’s hard to envision how such a massive development couldn’t harm the Bolin Creek watershed, create an incompatible juxtaposition with nearby charming historic residential areas and pressure the already difficult Hillsborough/MLK transit corridor.

Considering Council is knee deep in on-going negotiations involving RAM’s design for downtown’s Lot #5 behemoth (next meeting June 19th, 2PM), what leverage, if any, does RAM have in getting approval for what I expect to be one of the more controversial developments in town’s history?

CHAPEL HILL – Townhouse Apartments, a wilting, close-to-campus haven to UNC-Chapel Hill students for four decades, may be demolished to make way for one of the biggest condominium projects in town history.

Ram Development of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., wants to build 335 condominiums stacked six stories high and 22 townhouses on the 12.5-acre site by 2010.

The company has a contract to buy the 111-unit complex between Hillsborough Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, less than half a mile north of Franklin Street.

The sale is to close next year. Meanwhile, Ram is to submit preliminary site plans for the project, simply called 425 Hillsborough St., this month, said John Florian, the company’s vice president of development in Raleigh.

News & Observer, June 15th, 2006

Townhouse Apartments






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