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MarketPlace marks official grand opening
Aug 15, 2006 12:00 am
MT. JULIET — Excitement was high Friday in West Wilson as hundreds gathered to mark the official grand opening of Providence MarketPlace with visiting developers and dignitaries determined not to let the sultry temperatures interfere with the festivities and ribbon cutting.
"I'm going to steal a line from your great mayor," Carolina Holdings Inc. Vice President Bill Misiaveg told the crowd gathered around a stage in the "village" part of the nearly million-square-foot, open-air retail center. "Isn't it great to be alive and well in Mt. Juliet today. We all have something to be proud of and grateful for."
As of Friday's grand opening, 17 retailers and restaurants are open for business with many more to come. Misiaveg lauded State Sen. Mae Beavers for her "diligence, persuasion and persistence."
"Her efforts resulted in the significant amount of road projects we have here," he said.
With burgundy and blue balloons tethered and flying high with the crowd's mood, Misiaveg introduced Mt. Juliet Mayor Linda Elam, noting she was integral in the success of the development.
"Isn't this just beautiful?" Elam said gesturing to the buildings surrounding the gathering. "It's a credit to those people who 20 years ago had a great vision for this place and set aside acres for it."
Nodding to the developers on stage with her, Elam said the city owes them for the vision which is finally here.
"We welcome them with open arms," said the mayor.
Key individuals responsible for luring the center to the area included MarketPlace developers Carolina Holdings Inc., Crosland Inc. and CPS Land officials. Local leaders involved in progressing the project included city and chamber of commerce employees.
Crosland Inc. Retail Division President Peter Pappas said his company is proud to be partners in the new development,
"Our philosophy is it's our place to improve yours," he said. "It started with a vision and has turned into a signature retail destination with shopping and dining. And we are proud to be a part of it all."
Elam noted the center – which was rolling hills and woods less than 20 months ago – was almost a dream for the city.
"Did we ever dream then it would turn into the premier shopping center in Tennessee?" she said.
The initial celebration ended with a ribbon cutting and release of hundreds of balloons.
Throughout the day festivities included street vendors, face painting and tethered hot air balloon rides. The Animal Band was set to perform at 6 p.m. Other activities and events included a performance by 2005 "Nashville Star" Erika Jo and a Fill the Bus project with donated school items hosted by Dell Webb/Pulte Homes.
On Saturday, visitors may park and enjoy the trolley shuttle service as well as bouncing games and inflatables. Antique lovers can also stop by at the Antique eBay appraisal center. In addition, the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce's "Women's Closet" will be on hand to collect slightly used clothes. Donors will receive a free movie pass for their donation.
All of these activities coincide with the state's Tax Free Holiday which runs through Sunday with no sales tax on school-related items under $100 each.
Mt. Juliet Managing Editor Laurie Everett may be reached at 754-6397 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.