95-Acre Retail, Residential Development Proposed for Morrisville
Posted November 7, 2007 7:21 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2008 5:49 p.m. EST
Morrisville, N.C. — The largest retail-and-residential development Morrisville has ever seen is proposed for the corner of N.C. Highway 54 and Cary Parkway, and a lot of residents are not happy about it.
Casto Lifestyle Properties, based in Columbus, Ohio, and 1st Carolina Properties, a retail developer from Cary, are behind the plan to tear down a now-vacant Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical plant and replace it with Park West Village. Plans called for shops, offices, apartments, a hotel and a 3,000-seat movie theater on the 95-acre site.
Casto bills the project as a "unique place to live, work, shop and be entertained."
“The sheer size of it doesn't worry me as much as the sheer size of it on that piece of property that's fed by a two-lane road [N.C. Highway 54],” Morrisville resident Jackie Holcombe said. “It's not going to be a good idea to put additional cars onto an already clogged artery."
Traffic studies showed the development would generate more than 20,000 car trips a day. Part of residents' concern is that the town's population has tripled over the past seven years, already causing traffic congestion.
“The traffic is not just going to be in the morning at 9 a.m. or in the evening at 5 p.m. It's going to be all day. It's going to be on Saturday,” Cary resident Leslie Huffman said.
The developer has proposed putting in turn lanes to help ease congestion. Town officials said their engineers have also studied the traffic concerns.
“Results of study indicate the level of service, amount of delay at the different intersections would be similar to what it is today,” planning Director Ben Hitchings said.
If built, Park West Village would have 900,000 square feet of commercial space and could bring $700,000 in tax revenue to Morrisville.
The town has scheduled a public hearing on the Park West Village proposal for 6 p.m. Thursday night. The Board of Commissioners could vote on the proposal next month.