The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 21st

Partnership discusses creating a sustainable downtown

Targets keeping Kidzu in town

Sustainability was the focus of discussion at Wednesday's Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership Board of Directors meeting. Board members discussed the importance of a mixed-use sustainable downtown, the partnership's main concern, as well as the growth of environmentally sustainable technology, or "green" technology. "We really want to make sure we're strategically placing the right business in the right location for downtown growth," partnership Executive Director Liz Parham said. Board members discussed the need for developing clusters of businesses that could become destinations in their own rights. Tom Tucker, chairman of the board, said green technology could aid these clusters. He added that the economy is moving toward sustainable technology, which future projects like Carolina North inevitably will use. The board discussed how to organize the various suggestions. "To me the first thing we need is a well-respected, well-articulated master plan," Mayor Kevin Foy said. The board voted to form a sub-committee that would focus on forming such a plan and more immediate problems, such as keeping Kidzu Children's Museum downtown. Now into its second year, the museum has brought families back to downtown, but the current space is too small for the customers it serves. Its lease runs out in August, said Jonathan Mills, president of Kidzu's board of directors. The museum has gotten offers to move outside of downtown and even outside of Chapel Hill, Mills said. "If we don't address Kidzu, we're going to lose Kidzu," Parham said. To stay in downtown, the museum needs either the town or University to donate a space, as rent on Franklin Street is too expensive for the museum, Mills said. Contact the City Editor at


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