University Place closes more properties and begins preparation for construction of apartments

More preparation for construction at University Place is becoming visible around the mall property as fencing has been erected in the section closest to Willow Drive where an apartment complex is to be built.

The fence encompasses the entire northwest side of Chapel Hill Mall, which is set to undergo a massive redevelopment in the months and years to come. Inside the fence, the parking lot pavement is being ripped up for contractors to begin the first stages of building ‘900 Willow’ – a new facility that is expected to bring more than 250 multi-family units to the site .

Although the fence eliminates a means for vehicles to travel around University Place, the sidewalks are open and should remain available throughout the construction project. Pedestrians can use the sidewalk along the edge of the construction zone next to the Silverspot Cinema and Stoney River Restaurant, as well as along Willow Drive.

Another change caused by construction and fencing: the Chapel Hill Transit bus stop for University Place has now moved farther south. Routes A and F serving the area will pick up and drop off passengers in front of the former City Kitchen food court. The local transit system shared the update on social media on Thursday.

Ram Realty, a University Place development company and property group, acquired the property in 2018 with the aim of revitalizing the shopping center. One aspect of this goal is to introduce a residential component with the 900 Willow building. In addition to its multi-family units, the five- to six-story complex will have an indoor parking structure, a rental spot, and an outdoor pool and patio for residents. On the south side of the complex, the developers anticipate that the ground floor will have incubator retail space – locations for growing businesses that do not yet require full facilities.

A rendering of the 900 Willow apartment building planned for the University Place property, with the perspective from the opposite side of Willow Drive. (Photo via RAM REALTY.)

The fences around the future 900 Willow site are just the latest fences put up in recent weeks. In mid-October, entrepreneurs fence erected around part of the south corner of the mall property being prepared to begin construction of a new Chase Bank location. Additionally, fencing is expected to be installed soon in the 900 Willow construction zone as the demolition of an old Wells Fargo building will make way. for a new Fifth Third bank. Work on this project could begin as early as Tuesday, November 15, which is the first date the Chapel Hill Farmers Market will be held away from the parking area next to the old bank building.

While it’s publicly unclear how long construction of 900 Willow is expected to take, Ram Realty has indicated that the large-scale redevelopment of University Place is expected to last beyond mid-2024.

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