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Chapel Hill economic development officer Dwight Bassett to take new job in Raleigh

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Dwight Bassett, the town of Chapel Hill’s economic development officer for nearly five years, has taken a similar job in Raleigh.

Bassett will start his new job as the City of Raleigh’s economic development manager March, 26, Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil said today.

“Dwight has made a difference in how we think about development,” Stancil said. “He has helped us develop a better information base for our development discussions and helped guide new conversations.”

Bassett cites his department’s analyses of the town’s office, housing and retail markets as his biggest achievement. He leaves as the owners of Rams Plaza, the former Colony Apartments and other properties along U.S. 15-501 consider redevelopment at the town’s eastern entrance. A plan calls for 250,000 square feet of new retail, 360,000 square feet of office and 1,000-plus new residences there.    

“These are pretty significant developments that can reshape the tax base in Chapel Hill,” Bassett said this evening. Commercial property comprises just 16 percent of the town’s tax base now.

Aaron Nelson, president and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, called Bassett “a tireless and effective advocate for enterprise within Town government (who) led successful efforts to market and brand Chapel Hill as open for business and open to business.”

“Dwight leaves Chapel Hill with a better business climate than he found it,” he said.

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About the blogger

Mark Schultz is the editor of The Chapel Hill News and The Durham News.