A letter to Mayor Mark Chilton brings us some of the first criticism we've heard of Main Street Properties' redevelopment project. Read it and tell us what you think (If you missed Sunday's Chapel Hill News click here to see the story, an architect's sketch and the project overview as seen from The Station/Southern Rail across the street).
We are writing to you as good neighbors to convey our concern that the plan to develop 300 E. Main St. will fail to "maintain Carrboro’s unique identity" which is a strategic priority of the town.
The buildings as pictured in the plan appear to have little or no distinctive character. We can understand the concern of the town to increase its tax base. But we would hope that we could do better than holiday inn style buildings. Compare this with the Carolina Inn, or with buildings that really do convey Carroboro's unique identity.
Are we right in thinking that these buildings are cheaply designed and built? This may make economic sense for the next decade or two, but we think it would be a mistake to erect buildings that in two or three decades will look outmoded and worthy of replacement.
Burton Craige Distinguished Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill
Zachary Taylor Smith Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill