Inter-Faith Council for Social Service

A Quick Update About FoodFirst

Update on the search for possible appropriate alternative FoodFirst sites

Following the November 2015 Board of Alderman meeting, Inter-Faith Council (IFC) renewed its search for possible appropriate alternative sites for its FoodFirst project. Joining IFC's senior staff and board president in this process were representatives from the Carrboro business community, Gordon Merklein, Executive Director of real estate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Aaron Nelson, President, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. The group met on December 18, January 8 and February 5. The search considered a variety of factors such as topography, site restrictions, access to transportation, availability, space for programs, and room for growth. Of primary concern was how each site positively or negatively affected FoodFirst programming.

IFC analyzed ten sites besides 110 West Main. None of the ten sites was feasible for a variety of factors most notably, availability and site restraints.

In early March one of the ten sites rejected due to availability was listed for sale so IFC has reconsidered it. IFC asked its architect, Jim Spencer, to prepare a site analysis to determine if the buildable area on the site could support the FoodFirst program and how physical site constraints would affect design and expense. We expect his report mid-May. That due diligence for this single alternative site is still underway has been communicated to the Town of Carrboro and the community.

IFC will continue its due diligence of site factors, programming capacity and costs in May. The Board will review the suitability of the alternative site regarding programming and expense at its May board meeting and determine whether the site warrants further due diligence work  related to zoning, adjacent uses, neighborhood concerns and other factors. We expect IFC’s Board's final decision on this due diligence by the end of June 2016.