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The Daily Tar Heel

During the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting on Nov. 23, the council unanimously approved a special use permit for a four-story AC Hotel by Marriott, granting permission for the construction on Rosemary Street.

A net amount of $192,000 in general tax revenue is expected to be brought into Chapel Hill by the AC Hotel each year.

The hotel, which will be built by national company OTO Development, will have 123 rooms and 112 below grade parking spaces. The proposed floor area is 68,300 square feet.

The hotel will be located next to La Residence, a bar and restaurant, on the intersection of Rosemary and Church streets, on a site currently occupied by Los Potrillos, a Mexican restaurant.

The process began in July 2014 with the submission of a concept plan application. The special use permit application was submitted in January 2015, which then underwent multiple town reviews, a public hearing and a business meeting until the final approval last week.

The owner of La Residence, Frances Gualtieri, attended the town meeting. She said she was going to do business as usual during the long construction process.

“I feel like this is a very good development,” Gualtieri said at the meeting. “For me, as a restaurant (owner) who has a lot of special events, my guests will be able to stay there.”

Several key considerations were made before the Town Council approved the special use permit. Chapel Hill residents expressed concerns about vehicular traffic, construction noise and energy plans of the hotel.

Employment opportunities for local residents were also a topic of discussion at the meeting, and the developer of the hotel has asserted the business will partner with organizations such as EmPOWERment Inc. and the Jackson Center to provide the jobs needed.

“It will provide employment, and it works well with other businesses,” council member Maria Palmer said. “It will also help bring tourism to downtown (Chapel Hill). The AC Hotel has been successful in other college towns.”

She also said she hopes the AC Hotel will help local residents with well-paying jobs.

“I am interested in them paying a living wage more than anything else because we need the jobs to be good jobs,” Palmer said.

Delores Bailey, the executive director of EmPOWERment Inc., said at the Town Council meeting that she has heard of the OTO developer’s commitment to creating jobs.

“It is very important to the community that jobs will be created and filled with qualified residents from the community and communities nearby,” Bailey said.

“To that end, we will be willing to work with the applicant. We’ll be the watchdog to make that happen.”


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