Merritt Properties offers new business center in Chapel Hill

More industrial buildings are planned for the city’s booming shopping center on Millhouse Road, just north of Chapel Hill.

East Coast real estate developer Merritt Properties bought the 19-acre site at 7300 Millhouse Road in December for $ 2.3 million, according to county land records. The developer has three other projects completed or underway at Research Triangle Park, Knightdale and Wake Forest.

“We are delighted to strengthen Merritt Properties’ presence in the Triangle with our expansion to Chapel Hill,” said Keith Wallace, of Merritt Properties, in a press release. “The city’s flex / light industry market has great potential. There is an increasing demand for our type of product given the residential and mixed-use growth in the area.

The proposed North Chapel Business Center could be completed by 2023 and would replace a former horse farm and single-family home. The project will include two light industry buildings serving office and warehouse tenants. A building will have 61,700 square feet of space; the other will be 54,600 square feet.

“Merritt Properties’ decision to create a new flexible space on Millhouse Road is fully aligned with our strategic goals for the region and will bring new jobs and income to Chapel Hill,” Mayor Pam Hemminger said in the statement.

An adjacent lot is already in development at 7000 Millhouse Road. This project adds offices, clinics and laboratories for Carolina Donor Services – now known as HonorBridge.

The city created the 60-acre Millhouse Road Corporate Zone in 2017 to generate more businesses, tax revenue and jobs. The land on which Merritt Properties will build has already been rezoned, meaning the developer would only have to submit detailed construction and site plans to city staff for review and approval.

The property will be annexed to the city under conditional zoning, said Dwight Bassett, economic development officer.

“As for types of businesses, it could be a wide range of service businesses such as HVAC or electrical contractors, types of artists with showroom and workspace. , with interior designers needing a showroom and storage space, and even a restaurant to serve the area, ”Bassett told The News. & Observer in an email. “Flexible space has been a demand for a long time that we have not met as a market and we expect them to have no problem renting the spaces. “

Merritt Properties site plan.jpg
Properties of Merritt Contributed

The site is close to the Chapel Hill Transit campuses and the city’s public works. It is in addition to a UPS operations center, Chapel Hill Transit park and ride, and Carraway Village, an ongoing 55-acre development.

Carraway Village has significantly altered the neighborhood, located at the intersection of Eubanks Road, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Interstate 40.

The development replaced the woods and modest single-family homes with several hundred apartments and a few commercial tenants including Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and a drive-in.

Additional land is being marketed for retail and office tenants, and a Putt-Putt entertainment center and self-storage building are awaiting construction just to the north.

Interest in the Millhouse Road district has grown in recent years, local officials said. Interested companies include AskBio, a gene therapy company that ultimately chose Research Triangle Park for its new headquarters.

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Tammy Grubb has written about politics, people, and government in Orange County since 2010. She is a UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and has lived and worked in the Triangle for over 25 years.