Now, however, about a half dozen small to midsize retailprojects are being developed in the area, joining a larger one thatopened last year. That project, Park Place, a 134,000-sf shoppingcenter, was opened by Cary, NC-based Konover Property Trust, toserve Morrisville, Cary and other nearby towns.

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Among other retail projects being developed are the 155,000-sfVillage Market Place and Davis Commons, a 250,000-sf center thatcould be looking to lure big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart. Othersmall centers are being planned as part of mixed-use developmentsnear NC 54.

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Park Place was a joint venture with ARC Development. "It was oneof the first developments in the Morrisville area," Liz Dion,director of corporate marketing with Konover, tells GlobeSt.com."We are leased up except for two contiguous spaces of 1,000 sf eachthat are being held for a restaurant." Dion says Park Place hasabout 17 tenants.

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Developer Dan Dzamba is completing construction on MorrisvilleSquare, a 25,000-sf shopping center near the Town Hall.Raleigh-based Rosamund Property is handling the leasingarrangements and has already signed up tenants for almost half theproject.

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Jerry Friedman, a broker with Rosamund, tells GlobeSt.comMorrisville Square will eventually have an office building or twoand a day school.

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"In the retail component, we are leasing end units at $17.50 persf, with in-line space going for $16.50 per sf," Friedman says. AMexican-themed restaurant, which has taken 3,000 sf, and a bakeryare currently building out their space.

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Friedman says Morrisville profited from nearby Cary's decisionto slow down fast-track development around 1997. Cary decided itwas growing too fast, causing sewer and water shortages. The townrestricted development by slowing down site plan approvals.

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"When that happened, developers had to look elsewhere," Friedmansays. "The elsewhere, which was Morrisville, was pretty close by.And to the east of Morrisville is the airport. Morrisville hadalready begun to build a business base in the vicinity of theairport in terms of office parks and laboratory centers and somelight industrial areas."

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It's quite a change for a town that had only 1,200 residents in1990. The town estimates the population could climb to about 13,000if all of the residential plans submitted recently arecompleted.

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