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Students unable to lease from Town House Apartments due to redevelopment plans

Town House Apartments, located on Hillsborough Rd, was a popular student apartment complex.

Town House Apartments, located on Hillsborough Rd, was a popular student apartment complex.

Residents of Town House Apartments cannot sign leases for the next school year right now because of potential redevelopment. An email, sent on Oct. 19, stated the apartment complex will assess the redevelopment process in February and update residents. 

If Town House Apartments redevelops, it will be renamed the Residences at Grove Park, and will increase in tax value by $31.3 million, according to a Chapel Hill 2015 Special Use Permit (SUP) modification application. 

The sudden lack of housing left students scrambling to find new living arrangements for next year. Danielle Curtis, a junior environmental studies major and current Town House Apartments resident, said she and her roommate abandoned their plan to stay in the same apartment for their final semesters. 

“In the end we did find it, but it was really stressful and a huge pain, especially after going through it last year,” Curtis said. “We thought ‘OK, we’re at Town House, we’re here now, it’s fine. We’ll be here for the next two years until we graduate,’ and then we kind of had to throw ourselves into that mess again.”

Town House Apartments remains an affordable option compared to other student housing within walking distance from campus. A two bedroom, one bathroom apartment at The Warehouse Apartments costs $974 per bedroom per month, while a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment at LUX at Central Park costs $989 per bedroom per month. At Town House Apartments, two bedroom, two bathroom apartment costs $550 per bedroom per month, not including utilities. Curtis said she now pays between $600 and $700 per month including utilities. 

“I was looking at literally every apartment complex nearby and I was even thinking I might just have to do a single,” said Curtis. “That put into perspective how affordable Town House is now, because at a lot of places, just having a single is the same price as what it is for two people here, and I’d have to pay it entirely alone.”

The town of Chapel Hill approved a SUP in 2009 for Town House Apartments to begin the Grove Park project. The project plan includes increasing the number of bedrooms, parking spaces and bicycle parking spaces.

Though Town House Apartments received the SUP in 2009, they submitted several SUP modification applications in the following years. Chapel Hill last received a minor modification application from Town House Apartments in 2016. 

Originally, the 2009 SUP approval specified a construction start date of late February 2012 and a completion date of late February 2016. A 2015 modification application listed a construction start date of Jan. 1, 2019 and a completion date of Jan. 1, 2023. 

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