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Developers irk Cat’s Cradle owner

In a discussion about a proposed hotel that would replace the current Carrboro ArtsCenter building in the event the center relocates, developers assured the Carrboro Board of Aldermen the hotel would not impact Cat’s Cradle at all.

Cat’s Cradle and the Carrboro ArtsCenter currently reside in the same strip mall. The area around the strip mall has been under development during the creation of 300 East Main, a project spearheaded by Main Street Properties.

Representatives for Cat’s Cradle said discussions with developers about finding Cat’s Cradle a bigger space began eight years ago. They said they felt the tone of the developers’ presentation on Tuesday was negative and unconstructive.

“I had gone to the meeting planning to make positive comments about moving forward for the arts in Carrboro and Chapel Hill and being optimistic about how the Cat’s Cradle could be part of this process if given the reasonable opportunity,” Heath said in an email after the meeting.

“The developer’s comments about Cat’s Cradle were quite one-sided and negative, and would have made my intent to speak with optimism and possibilities for this development seem misplaced.”

The proposed Arts and Innovation Center — a $15 million project that would house two nonprofit organizations: the Carrboro ArtsCenter and Kidzu Children’s Museum.

Kidzu is currently located at University Mall and the Carrboro ArtsCenter is located next to Cats Cradle.

If the ArtsCenter were to move to a new building, a hotel could take its place.

“It’s such a complex and unknown outcome that the full effects aren’t known and that’s concerning,” Heath said. “In the original plans made by Main Street Properties, there were repeated representations that Cat’s Cradle and the ArtsCenter would have new and expanded locations already.”

The full impact of a new ArtsCenter is unknown, but the question of what to do with the property left when it moves to its new space has felt uncollaborative, Heath said.

“The Cradle likes Carrboro. It’s a comfortable neighborhood to exist in but the trouble is finding a comfortable piece of land,” Heath said.

The Carrboro residents who came to the public hearing were resoundingly supportive of Cat’s Cradle.

“If we don’t have a solution for Cat’s Cradle, then we don’t have a solution for the arts in Carrboro,” said Charles Sune, who spoke at the meeting. “If we don’t know the impact of this development then that should be a non-starter.

The Board of Alderman asked Cat’s Cradle for an economic analysis of the venue so they could make a more informed decision.

“Cat’s Cradle is substantially important to the arts scene in Carrboro,” said Alderwoman Bethany Chaney.

city@dailytarheel.com

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