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Construction at University Place moving forward

Construction and a name change are reshaping the complex Chapel Hill residents used to know as University Mall. 

According to a press release from the Madison Marquette marketing company, University Mall was officially named University Place on June 1 and now has a brand new logo.

Construction at the mall continues to progress. 

The rebranded complex will now offer its customers a variety of new retailers, including the Aveda Institute, Planet Fitness and the newly relocated Kidzu Children’s Museum.

Jason Osborne, operations manager for Southern Seasons at University Place, said he thinks the name change is more about rebranding.

“I think it’s basically an effort to advertise that they have a new face and a new vibe,” Osborne said. “I think it’s going to bring a lot of people to the mall who haven’t been here before.”

But what Osborne and other residents are really excited for is the first dine-in theater restaurant in Chapel Hill.

A 53,000 square feet, 13-screen luxury Silverspot Cinema is set to open in late August.

Silverspot Cinema is a family-owned company that emphasizes luxury.

Francisco Schlotterbeck, CEO of Silverspot Cinema, said the company chose to open a theater in Chapel Hill because of the location.

“Silverspot always considers the demographics, quality of real estate, competition and the terms of the deal when deciding on where to open a new theater,” Schlotterbeck said. “Chapel Hill was a perfect match.”

The cinema will also house a restaurant and bar area that was designed by a New York consulting group that helps create upscale bar and food menus.

“Our restaurant, Trilogy, is a David Burke Group restaurant,” he said. “Not only can guests enjoy the restaurant in the theater, but meals can also be wrapped and carried into the theaters by request.”

Seth Rector, the general manager for the upcoming cinema, said he’s gotten a lot of anxious feedback from residents.

“The remarks are always, ‘When are you opening?’” Rector said. “We had to demolish the previous building and build it up from scratch. People are getting antsy and excited.”

He said the $14 million project has been going smoothly, but some additions and modifications have delayed the opening date.

“Our seats are leather seats we get from Venezuela that are made specifically for Silverspot — one of a kind,” Rector said.

Osborne said he thinks the new cinema will bring more traffic through the mall and over toward Southern Season.

“With us being at the opposite end, I could see more people strolling through the mall coming to see a movie — perhaps to even have dinner — and looking through our store, and I think it’s fantastic,” he said.

Rector said no expense would be spared in creating the new theater.

“It’s going to be more upscale, much more luxurious, much more plush — the ambiance will get you opening the door.”

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