Chapel Hill development director to return

tgrubb@newsobserver.comOctober 15, 2012 

Dwight Bassett, Chapel Hill's returning economic development director

CONTRIBUTED — Contributed

— Chapel Hill’s former economic development director says he is coming back to finish what he started.

Dwight Bassett, who left in March for a similar position in Raleigh, will return to Chapel Hill’s economic development office Nov. 1.

The town worked with the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and other partners to hire a replacement but couldn’t find the right fit, Town Manager Roger Stancil said.

“It’s a really good coming together of interests, and I’m glad he’s able to come back,” Stancil said. “It’s good to work with somebody who already knows us.”

Bassett said his decision to leave Raleigh after seven months was a combination of timing and opportunity. He has watched his Chapel Hill projects become a reality over those months, he said.

“It just seemed like a good opportunity for me, at this time in my career, to see the parts through,” he said.

Bassett said he emailed Raleigh officials about his decision Monday.

Raleigh City Manager J. Russell Allen said he wishes Bassett well but declined to speculate on his early departure. Bassett was Raleigh’s first economic development officer and was getting to know local businesses and economic partners, Allen said. He had teamed with the Chamber of Commerce to boost downtown entrepreneurship and was handling projects that came up, such as Citrix’s 130,000-square-foot redevelopment in the warehouse district, he said.

“He’s been doing a great job here,” Allen said.

Bassett started with Chapel Hill in 2007, just a year after the town formally started pursuing economic development activities. He has nearly 24 years of experience in urban and economic development.

Bassett’s salary in Raleigh was $97,350. He was making $87,731 when he left Chapel Hill but will get this year’s 3 percent employee raise when he returns, plus a little extra, Stancil said.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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