High rates don't deter students from living on Franklin

carolina_square

Carolina Square under construction in November. The mixed-use space is expected to open in Fall 2017.

The workers are on a deadline. Hundreds of students will be ready to move into Chapel Hill’s newest luxury apartment complex in August.

Carolina Square, a mixed-use shopping center and apartment complex, will open on Franklin Street in fall 2017. The buildings, which border the pre-existing Granville Towers, will accommodate 246 apartment units and a Target on the lower level. Students living here will have quick and easy access to places such as Chipotle, Starbucks and Top of the Hill.

Gail Bostick, sales consultant for Northwood Ravin — the real estate developer in charge of Carolina Square — said that the apartment prices are between $850 and $3,700.

“We get a lot of interested people who are willing to live there, regardless of the price,” she said. “People are willing to pay more because of the location. The location is worth the price because of its proximity to the University.”

Junior Sana Mohiuddin plans to live in Carolina Square next fall.

“I chose to live at Carolina Square because it is close to campus, brand new and many other places did not have much room left for new residents,” Mohiuddin said.

“My favorite part about Carolina Square is that it is extremely close to campus while also being directly on Franklin Street, and I am very excited for the Target that will be next to it.”

Mohiuddin said that the location of Carolina Square justified its price tag.

“The rent is around $1,800 divided among two people in a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment,” she said.

“I am willing to pay more for the location because I tend to be running late on occasions and being far from campus would not help that.”

The Courtyard Lofts is another highly sought after residence location that has a close proximity to Franklin.

Senior Sam Snider said he lives in the Courtyard Lofts, which is located between McDonald’s and Al’s Burger Shack.

“It costs me more than $800 but less than $850 per month, and I think that the price is worth it,” Snider said. “I undoubtedly think that people are willing to pay this price because of its location.”

Snider said that the Courtyard Lofts’ proximity to campus is a compelling reason to live there.

“There is a lot of places in town that are food deserts,” Snider said. “You think about Town House or LUX, you can’t just walk down the street and get a bite to eat or a drink to drink. But if you live on Franklin you can pretty much walk 30 seconds to everything.”

Chapel Hill and neighboring Hillsborough are currently designated as food deserts, which are defined by the American Nutrition Association as areas lacking access to places like grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Chapel Hill’s designation may be changed by the new Target in Carolina Square. But Snider’s concern is less about the distance to the store than the distance to his class.

“My main reason for living here is the location. I am only about three-quarters to a mile walk from classes, which some people don’t think it is close, but it is way closer than Carrboro.”

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