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Downtown Morrisville


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Wow. Wasn't that long ago when Morrisville was just a wide spot in the road, with Billy Sauls as mayor (he used to own the gas station at the corner of US 70 and Westgate). Morrisville's population was 251 in 1980, 1022 in 1990. Downtown?? Now it's 24,732 and rocketing up.

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I drove through Morrisville a few months back, and I was curious to see its downtown.  I saw one incredibly underdeveloped intersection and I thought, "Really?  That's it?"

This will definitely be a welcome change for the town.  Seeing how rapidly it has grown in the past few years, it will be nice for the people of Morrisville to finally have a town center.

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They had something of a one intersection downtown until the late 80's or so. One house was moved west of the tracks...it had some historical cache and was in decent shape. The NE corner had a whole assemblage of house, store and old looking sheds and stuff. Perhaps twice the mass of old Carpenter, but no grid to speak of. Obviously the tracks and the volume on 54 would never allow that to fatten up any, so this is the next best outcome. Holly Springs is also making decent strides to create a small downtown out of a similar situation. Knightdale has totally eschewed there actual downtown when they moved Town Hall to a bland piece of land on the other side of 64. 

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If there is Durham-Raleigh commuter rail someday, surely there will be a stop in RTP and a stop in Cary. Another stop in between would make sense. Beautiful downtown Morrisville? 

In a timeframe much farther out, like 20-40 years, we might see commuter rail Raleigh-Knightdale-Wendell-Zebulon. Whether stations would be built in former "downtowns" or in undeveloped areas for park-and-ride lots, I don't think anyone has seriously studied. As in Morrisville, the ability of those main streets to handle hundreds of cars at rush-hour is unclear.

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  • 1 year later...

This project isn't in downtown Morrisville, but I couldn't find a better post to attach this. But a neato project for sure: A former Sam's Club near the super wallmart is being converted to 140,000 sqft of Class A office space.


Renovation of the single-story building will be extensive, including a total redo of the external facade, adding “extensive glass openings,” a rear patio, new parking and landscaping changes. The new space will include 28-foot to 35-foot ceilings.

It's equidistant to DTR and DTD and a stones throw from RDU. They site the high demand for office space in the market as the reason for the conversion. 



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Another Morrisville project that will be a benefit to the region.  An adult fun park!  This will be two venues across from each other on a 13-acre site near Airport Blvd & Chapel Hill Rd. 

  • 40MPH electric racer cars on an .3 mile long elevated track
  • 300 person banquet hall
  • axe throwing
  • 'escape rooms' 
  • Virtual Reality arenas
  • indoor skydiving!



Edited by rolly
reduce pic size
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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't like how it has a driveway in front of the buildings. In other cities, I see plenty of developments that are in even more suburban locations than this that are built facing the street. Why can't they pull the building forward and put all the parking and car circulation to the side and behind the building?

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  • 7 months later...

Was just skimming the Wake Transit Plan's 5/2019 MIS on commuter rail, and noticed that the projected Morrisville station wasn't downtown -- but at Cary Parkway / Park West Village instead. Granted, that's probably now the spiritual center of Morrisville, but it seems weird to plop a commuter rail station right next to the Prestonwood Country Club's northernmost links.


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  • 4 months later...

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