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Students hope new town center will provide more shops, restaurants

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Rendering of the Elon Town Center. Image courtesy of Elon University.

Elon University has begun construction on a new town center in downtown Elon, N.C. The town center will house the campus book store, student newspaper office, other offices and restaurants. The construction has sparked controversy since the beginning, starting with the demolition of the old Pendulum office. An informal poll of 89 people showed the differing opinions of Elon students, employees and locals. The majority leaned in favor of the construction with a 65 to 16 vote, with 8 people having no opinion.

Most people hope to see developments of new restaurants and stores in the town center.

Lauren Heneghan, a freshman at Elon University, said she’d like to see more upscale restaurants.

“Something like the Cheesecake Factory would be good,” Heneghan said. “We need something more upscale than Olive Garden.”

Another freshman, Alexa Bobadilla, would like to see more variety, such as a sushi or upscale asian place, rather than the regular pizza and hamburger places.

“The day they open an Arab restaurant I’ll be in heaven,” Bobadilla said.

Architectural plans for the Elon Town Center. Photo by Julia Sayers.

Other students listed Starbucks, Jimmy John’s and Italian restaurants as something they would be excited for. In addition to restaurants, students would like to see some new shops.

“I’d like some more clothing stores,” said Laura Morell, a freshmen at Elon. “Preferably a GAP.”

Elon students Frida Jansaker and Cameron Silverman also wanted stores. Jansaker would prefer a Hallmark type gift shop and Silverman would like to see a video game store.

Support also came from Elon faculty and locals.

Edward Williams, a Technology Help Desk associate, supports the construction, despite the opinions of his coworkers who don’t support it due to the noise and disturbances it’s causing.

“Unfortunately noise comes with it, but I totally support it,” Williams said. “I think it will be good for both visitors and students.”

Burlington local June Reid also supports Elon’s efforts.

“It’s a personal thing for me, but I think it’s just so wonderful for the college,” Reid said.

However, not all locals support the construction.

“I don’t support it one bit,” said Gibsonville local Ken Hagedorn. “It ties up traffic, they take too long and they just stand there and don’t do anything.”

Hagedorn doesn’t work in Elon but drives through the campus often.

“When you’re running late for a doctor’s appointment or work and you get stuck in traffic, it’s frustrating,” Hagedorn said.

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Written by juliasayers

March 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

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