Business owner Gus Gusler said the popular street has been ignored. He remembers when Hillsborough St. was the place to be.
"Hillsborough Street was just a hopping, great place," Gusler said. "This is where we came, up and down Hillsborough Street. Not quite the same these days."
The makeover that has been in the works since 1999 will begin next month. The traffic signals at Hillsborough St. and Pullen Rd. will go away and be replaced by a roundabout. A second roundabout at Oberlin Rd. and Groveland will be constructed later.
Other changes include underground utilities, wider sidewalks with more brick and a two-lane street with a raised median.
"I think it's going to turn this into a destination," Gusler said.
The first phase of the project will cost $9.9 million. That's about $2.5 million less than expected as construction costs have fallen during the recession.
The first community meeting to provide information and answer questions about Phase I of the Hillsborough Street Project was held Tuesday night from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Hillsborough Street Partnership offices.