Downtown should be a place where people find it easy to shop in stores, eat at restaurants, and gather for festivals where residents can meet each other.
We need the following to occur in order to make our downtown an attractive and vibrant place in our community:
Develop office space which will encourage start-ups to stay in Chapel Hill. Let's continue to support business accelerators, like LAUNCH, and co-working spaces. Providing high-potential, small companies the knowledge and support to decrease risk as they grow benefits our town. We need to give these companies every chance to thrive. The town needs to incentivize developers to provide space for these start-ups to remain in downtown in order to diversify our tax base. A variety of incentives such as Tax Incremental Financing (TIF), density bonuses, tax abatement, and revolving loan funds (as was used for Weaver Street Market in Carrboro) may be needed. Each situation is unique and the right incentive needs to be used for the right type of project.
Encourage more housing in downtown to support our retail businesses. More people living in downtown will mean that more residents are around to shop in our local retail stores, giving these businesses a better chance to succeed.
Encourage tourism by providing historical walking tours in downtown. This will attract residents and visitors to explore our area and shop in our stores.
Create more walkways, green spaces, art installations, and outdoor cafes along the downtown streets to make it a pleasant and fun experience.