Residents of Chapel Hill and other community members came together to discuss the future of the downtown area and expansion.
Kadoura, guest speaker and owner of Mediterranean Deli, said business expansion is important.
Mediterranean Deli plans to open a market in the former location of the Time After Time Vintage Thrift shop at 141 W. Franklin St.
“I think growth is better for everybody in the community and everybody in Chapel Hill,” Kadoura said. “Seeing the town growing is something really exciting.”
Kadoura said the growth of the University has been a key factor in the town’s own expansion.
“The most important thing I’ve started to see downtown is that the University is growing,” he said. “If the University is growing, then we will grow.”
Michael Fox, a member of the Friends of the Downtown group, said he feels strongly about the idea of expansion.
“I think we need to address enhancing our downtown,” Fox said. “We need to do everything we can to revitalize it.”
Fox said though he wants to see success spread throughout the entire downtown area, he is well aware of the difficulties that could go hand-in-hand with this expansion.
“It needs to be a careful development,” he said. “You have to think things through.”
Stephen Rich, a downtown resident, said he thinks expansion will be difficult because other residents are concerned with affecting the surrounding historic areas.
“In the past, the town put a limit on how far it wanted to grow,” Rich said. “That’s pretty much set, so you have to infill in order to survive.”
Pat Evans, a former member of the Chapel Hill Town Council, said getting the word out to residents is the most important thing to do when it comes to discussing community growth.
“People who are well informed make better decisions,” Evans said. “My passion is the downtown and business community.”
Even though outward expansion would be difficult, growth is still possible, it just depends on the direction of that growth.
“We’re not bound to expand much because of the historic neighborhoods surrounding us,” Evans said. “So where do we grow? We grow up!”
Evans’ excitement for communal expansion was clearly visible.
“I think it’s exciting,” she said. “I hope I stay above ground long enough to see a lot of this happen.”