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New Tenants at University Place Include Nationally Recognized Restaurants and Retailers

(CHAPEL HILL, NC – March 22, 2024) University Place, the thriving redevelopment of University Mall, is thrilled to welcome Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Chick-fil-A, Chase Bank, Wake Med MyCare 365, Curry Up Now, CycleBar and Fifth Third Bank to the retail and hospitality epicenter in Chapel Hill.


CycleBar and Fifth Third Bank are now open, and construction will begin on Chase Bank, Chick-fil-A, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams by the end of March. Chase will construct a new bank building along Estes Drive. Chick-fil-A, a mainstay of the former mall’s interior, will now reopen with a drive-thru, and will replace the former K&W building on Fordham Boulevard. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, founded by James Beard Award winner Jeni Britton, is dedicated to making the finest ice cream possible, creating one-of-a-kind flavors with Direct and Fair Trade ingredients and super fresh milk from family dairy farms. Jeni’s will occupy a 1,000 square foot building anchoring one side of the new 15,000 square foot community greenspace called The Commons. The outdoor space will be programmed with live music and other community events throughout the year.


“The team has been very deliberate in selecting the right brands to bring the redevelopment of University Place to life. Jeni’s is the perfect addition to The Commons to energize that space year-round. Ram continues to work with national and local concepts to create a fun destination for the Chapel Hill community.”

— Jeff Kurtz, Ram Realty Advisors

A rendered view of The Commons at University Place (Store names are directional)

To accommodate the additional tenants and continued growth of University Place, a new parking garage is under construction, adding 150 public parking spaces for shop and restaurant guests. The garage will feature a mural by a local artist, Gabriel Eng-Goetz. Ram Realty Advisors collaborated with the Town of Chapel Hill to select an artist and a design for the mural. “Public art allows us to reflect on our shared culture and values in a particular place. Gabe's mural design combines the goddess Athena from Chapel Hill's Town seal with textile patterns from countries around the world to give this reinvigorated development a striking and impactful identity,” said Steve Wright of the Town of Chapel Hill's Community Arts & Culture Division. “We were thrilled by Ram Realty's invitation to partner on a public art project that will showcase the creativity and talent of our local artist community.”

A rendered view of a new mural on the 900 Willow parking garage

As part of the vision for the former mall to become a true mixed-use lifestyle center, the construction of 900 Willow is nearing completion. This 253-unit apartment community will allow residents to enjoy living within walking distance of the shops, restaurants and entertainment at University Place in addition to an onsite state-of-the-art fitness center, intimate courtyards, vibrant pool, and garage parking. Apartment pre-leasing starts this spring with resident move-ins beginning in the fall. 900 Willow includes eight move-in ready incubator retail spaces on the ground floor, ranging from 600 to 800 square feet, that will be ready to lease this fall.  These unique spaces were created to provide turn-key retail space with lease terms as short as one year for local small businesses.

A rendered view of 900 Willow apartments from Willow Drive

As construction continues, the Estes Drive entrance to the mall interior will close for renovations to the storefront later this spring. Businesses are still open, and University Place guests can enter on the north side of the mall by Alfredo’s Pizza Villa or through the door next to CycleBar and Hawkers. University Place looks forward to welcoming the public to a reimagined Chapel Hill shopping and dining experience.

A rendered view of the new storefronts along Estes Drive at the entrance to University Place (store names are directional)

For project updates, follow @universityplacenc on Facebook and Instagram. For more information on restaurant and retail leasing, please visit or call 980.819.3857. For information on pre-leasing at 900 Willow, visit



Ram Realty Advisors LLC acquires and develops retail, multifamily and mixed-use properties in select high-growth markets throughout the Southeast. The investments are capitalized by Ram-sponsored discretionary private equity funds and institutional co-investment vehicles. Since 1996, Ram has deployed in excess of $3.5 billion of capital. Ram and its predecessor entities were founded in 1978. The company is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and has offices in Tampa, Florida; Charlotte and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee.


Media Contact:

Monty Hagler


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