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PLYMOUTH, MA-Now that Route 44 is nearing completion, the area’s main north-south artery brings with it development opportunities and higher land values. The $32-million project which is scheduled to open in November, replaces 6 ½ miles of winding country roads with a new highway that will connect Carver and Plymouth to Route 3.

“They’re coming out of the woodwork,” Jack Hunter, the town planner for Carver, tells of the developers and brokers who have already laid claim to parcels along the new roadway. “As soon as they heard there was going to be an interchange at Route 58, they began looking at options on development.”

In Plymouth, a $100-million, 870,000-sf shopping center known as Colony Place, which includes a Super Wal-Mart, is set to open this week. A Hampton Inn also is under construction nearby. Proposals for smaller projects also have been filed with both towns, including a 12,000 sf automobile-oriented shopping plaza called Tradesman Place in Carver.

Shaw’s supermarkets also will open a new store this week at the Routes 44 and 58 interchange. Other shopping center owners have also put in requests to expand their facilities by more than double, Hunter says.

“From a town standpoint, we’ve already seen the impact,” Lee Hartmann, director of planning for the town of Plymouth, tells, noting that the area adjacent to the new Route 44 interchange in Plymouth is already almost fully built-out. While a lack of land adjacent to Route 44 could limit building in Plymouth, Carver still has acres of open space ripe for development. Hunter says because Carver gets its water from underground wells, there is only a limited amount of water available to sustain growth.

Shaw’s sidestepped Carver’s water problem and found a solution of its own to bringing water to its new store. It signed on for water rights from the neighboring town of Middleborough, Hunter says.

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