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ACTIVITY PICKS UP FOR SMALL BUSINESS IN GREENVILLE, N.C.

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Coastal Rivers Realty

 


By Mike Grizzard
The Daily Reflector

Friday, August 29, 2008

Despite some challenging economic times, Greenville remains a destination for small businesses either starting up or looking to expand.

Wayland Moore of BrodyCo, a local development company, said the recent activity he's seen gives reason for optimism. He said the growth of East Carolina University and Pitt County Memorial Hospital continues to trickle down to the business community.

"I guess with the university and the hospital, people are still moving into the area and looking to open up small businesses," said Moore, regional leasing director for BrodyCo. "Our vacancy rate is doing really well. We're just hanging in there. It seems to be pretty positive right now."

BrodyCo has secured leases for all but one unit at the new Tower 1885 Shoppes on Fire Tower Road. Joining The Framing Station, which opened in late July, will be Great Clips, EC Star Nails Spa & Tanning, Baskin-Robbins and Asian Bistro.

Moore said all four businesses should open this fall.

Also coming to Fire Tower Road are Jersey Mike's at the second phase of Fire Tower Shoppes being developed by Aldridge & Southerland. Realo Discount Drugs and Carolina Home Medical will open next Thursday or Friday in the former location of Physicians East Urgent Care in the Covengton Shoppes. Carolina Home Medical is relocating from Arlington Boulevard.

At other BrodyCo developments, a Sports Clips franchise will open beside Old Navy in La Promenade on Greenville Boulevard, and Hibachi Express and Subway will join Starbucks at Campus Shoppes on 10th Street. BrodyCo also is nearing completion of Pitt Plaza at the former site of Ragazzi's and signed Bruegger's Bagels as its first tenant.

"They're taking the end cap space which is closest to Greenville Boulevard," Moore said. "We're working on another tenant that's going to be in line along with Bruegger's, and we have some others working on the other side of the end cap."

Moore said the strip center has an ideal location with access from two of the city's main thoroughfares.

"We were lucky with that," he said. "One road is Greenville Boulevard and the other is Evans Street. It's good we were able to design the center as such that you can have access to both roads."

 

Metrics

Two purchases and a renovation of existing space have positioned Metrics Inc. to not only meet its needs now but to position itself for well into the future.

The Greenville-based company in the Indigreen Corporate Park purchased a facility it was leasing for warehouse space at 5440 Greenville Blvd. between ASMO and DSM. Package Craft of Bethel will continue to lease part of the building.

"The building went up for sale and we hated to lose our investment in it," said Phil Hodges, co-founder and president of Metrics, which specializes in pharmaceutical development services.

Hodges said Metrics invested in the air-conditioning system to have a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment.

Metrics also acquired 21.08 acres adjacent to its Sugg Parkway property from the Committee of 100, which recently purchased Greenville Industries. Metrics more than doubled its size with a recent expansion project, and Hodges already had an eye on the next phase of growing Metrics.

He has put the brakes on that for now but is glad to have the land.

"We've reeled back on the decision to build for now, but we're building something inside," Hodges said.

Metrics is converting a hallway and another portion of its new facility into a potent product manufacturing lab.

"We'll have it finished some time in October, and it will take a couple of months to get the equipment in and get it validated," Hodges said.

 

 

Mike Grizzard can be contacted at mgrizzard@coxnc.com and 329-9580.