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Carolina Square construction causes lane closure on Franklin Street

Construction of Carolina Square, a mix of apartment buildings and retail and office spaces, should be completed before the start of fall semester.
Construction of Carolina Square, a mix of apartment buildings and retail and office spaces, should be completed before the start of fall semester.

Carolina Square construction will cause a lane closure on Franklin Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays for about a month beginning Friday. 

"We are hitting our goal," said Dave Reeves, the senior project manager for Northwood Ravin Construction, the company building Carolina Square. 

Carolina Square is the $120 million project at 123 W. Franklin St. in downtown Chapel Hill. The mixed-use project includes a Target, apartment complex and office space, which has a tentative opening date of July 2017. 

Reeves said the lane closure is necessary in order for the subtractors to work safely. He said he doesn't think there will be a large impact on traffic.

Rachel Gopichand, a first-year at UNC who lives in Granville Towers, said the street detours have caused confusion for people visiting Granville. 

“To me, the worst part is it’s kind of ugly," she said. "There are signs everywhere and you can’t really walk places.”

Jeff Furman, vice president of development and director of Raleigh operations for Northwood Ravin, said once the streetscapes are finished, they will be great for everyone. 

“There have been some disruptions, but once it’s done they will see it and understand," he said. 

The majority of noise complaints about construction came from Granville residents during last semester's exam period, Furman said. Depending on which tower residents live in, he said some residents don't hear the construction at all.

“When I decided to live there, I had no idea there was going to be construction,” said Matie Milia, a first-year at UNC. “The only issue is in the morning when it wakes me up.” 

So far, 70 percent of the office space and 53 percent of the apartments in Carolina Square have been leased, Furman said. The plans include a dog park, pool and landscaped green space throughout the square.

Many future residents of the Carolina Square apartments are graduate students or employed by UNC, but Furman said he expects there will be more diversity in demographics as the opening date approaches. Residents are set to move in between July and August. 

Furman said that students in Chapel Hill figure out their housing arrangements in advance, but a majority of residents will lease within the 90 day period before opening.

Milia said she looked into living in Carolina Square apartments but had to postpone because residents must be 20 years old to live there. 

Furman said that while the apartments are on the expensive side, there will be an array of club areas, fitness facilities and terraces. The interior of the apartments will have stainless steel and plank style flooring.

“We are very pleased with the progress," he said. "It will be a very busy spring and summer, but we’re excited to deliver the project.” 

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