From The Daily Tar Heel
By Ismail Conze
The scaffolding on the front of 137 E. Franklin St., which contains CVS, has finally come down and a shiny new exterior for the building has taken its place.
The renovations have focused mainly on modernizing the design of the building as well as updating appliances to make the property conform to current energy standards.
The 137 E. Franklin St. property is currently owned by Zapolski Real Estate, LLC. Chapel Hill Zoning Enforcement Officer Mike Klein believes the renovations are currently wrapping up and are expected to end before Zapolski Real Estate’s construction permit expires.
“Permits usually have an expiration date of about a year,” Klein said. “Their permits were issued late spring or early summer of 2016 so they appear to be on track with everything.”
Klein said the main entrance to the building will probably not get renovated until the scaffolding is completely down.
Todd Zapolski, managing member of Zapolski Real Estate, said the construction is mostly finished.
“We’re just waiting on the lights — we have LED lights,” Zapolski said. “It’s going to be really cool at night, and we’re trying to schedule the manufacturer to come and program them. It’s probably going to be a couple weeks.”
Although there were a few setbacks due to delays in materials arriving, Zapolski said the lights will be the last addition before the project is complete.
Meg McGurk, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said she feels the renovations are positive and a sign of growth.
McGurk said Zapolski Real Estate replaced the elevators and renovated the interior of the office floors.
“I think it’s positive for our downtown,” she said. “It shows the increase in private investment by property owners. And particularly this group of investors and owners are aware of the positioning of their building — right in the heart of the 100 block.”
McGurk said 137 E. Franklin St. is a desirable spot, so the owners have committed the time and effort to creating a current and modern-looking building. The building also contains UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office and the R&R Grill, among other offices.
“It is great to see our private property owners investing in our downtown and in their properties,” McGurk said.