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CHAPEL HILL, NC-Palm Beach Gardens, FL-based Ram Realty Services plans to begin construction in the first quarter of 2008 on a $75-million residential and retail complex Downtown. The project will rise at the corner of Franklin Street and Church Street.

The property is currently a parking lot that is owned by the Town of Chapel Hill. The project, which has not yet been named, will include 137 condominium units, 21 of which will qualify as affordable housing units. It also includes 28,000 sf of retail space and 27,000 sf of open plaza and courtyards with public art and a 330-space underground parking garage.

“The Town of Chapel Hill was looking for a way to rejuvenate the Downtown area and create a pedestrian-friendly community gathering place,” says Ram Realty Services president Casey Cummings.

The project is expected to be completed in the summer or fall of 2009, Ram Realty Services COO Ivy Greaner tells GlobeSt.com. “This project is one block off the main intersection in Chapel Hill and is in the heart of everything that’s going on there,” Greaner says. “This project is an opportunity to bridge the east and wide sides of Chapel Hill.”

Pricing information for the condominiums has not yet been established. Sales and marketing efforts for the residential portion of the project will begin in the fall. Marketing efforts for the retail space will begin sooner. “We’re not looking for national chains,” Greaner says. “We’re looking for local or regional entrepreneurial tenants with a mix of soft goods and restaurants.”

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