The Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously approved permits Monday night that will bring 580,000 square feet of housing, offices and a public greenspace to Franklin Street’s University Square development.
The project will replace the existing University Square development with a combination of office, retail and residential space, along with more than 1,000 parking spots. Granville Towers will remain where it is.
The special use permit was approved by the council after the developer increased the amount it pledged to affordable housing from $90,000 to $250,000, to be paid out over the course of five years.
The $90,000 was an increase to the original $60,000 promised by the developer in November.
UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp, who proposed the additional funding for affordable housing, also presented the project to the council Monday night.
“This project has everything that I have felt Chapel Hill needed since I moved here in 1982,” Thorp said. “We will be creating a downtown that will be vibrant year-round.”
And many Chapel Hill residents voiced their support for the project at the meeting.
Meg McGurk, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said the project encompassed her agency’s mission of bringing the University and town together to promote downtown.
“This plan takes us leaps and bounds closer to our shared goal,” McGurk said. “No one development can provide all of our community’s wants and needs, but this is the complete package.”