There was a time, not so long ago, when Morrisville was thought of as little more than a corporate town—a businesslike extension of Research Triangle Park or the airport, not a place you go to actually enjoy yourself.
But that perception is changing, and at the heart of this rapid evolution is Park West Village, a 100-acre, 750,000-square-foot mixed-use space that features not only big retailers like Target and PetSmart but also a movie theater, lofts and apartments, a strong fashion lineup, local tenants, and a wide assortment of some of the best restaurants around.
“We want to be a one-stop shop for this community,” explains Conner Dixon, a property coordinator for Park West Village at CASTO Southeast Realty Services.
More than that, though, they want to be a gathering place both for Morrisville and for the rest of the Triangle. Five years ago, as Park West Village was first being developed, the space launched a one-of-a-kind summer concert series, Live in the District, focused at first on up-and-coming local artists.
But after getting feedback from the community and wanting to provide both Morrisville and the rest of the Triangle with a broader array of entertainment options, the concert series has expanded beyond locals—though they’re still included. There will also be national acts, many of whom you won’t be able to find on any other Triangle stages.
This year’s series kicks off Thursday night, April 19, at 6 p.m. with Brooke Hatala, a young Raleigh-based singer-songwriter who opened for Willie Nelson at 15 years old and was a contestant on season 12 of The Voice. After her, at 7:30 p.m., comes Resurrection, a Nashville-based Journey tribute band that is a spot-on recreation of the Steve Perry-era original.
On April 26, the Raleigh-based Jason Adamo brings his unpretentious, heart-on-sleeve songwriting and soulful voice to the stage from 6:30 to 9 p.m.. The week after, on May 3, is another double-header: Caroline Dare, a 17-year-old songwriter from Nashville, followed by standout country songwriter Hailey Whitters, who has co-written a song for Little Big Town and penned another that was recorded by Martina McBride, in addition to her own record, 2015’s Black Sheep.
The shows are free and family-friendly. There will be beer to sip and plenty of space for you to sprawl out on a lawn chair and just dance around with the kids.
The concert series, which runs through June 7, will also feature artists such as eighties tribute band Kids in America, Mikele Buck, and the always-entertaining Jim Quick & The Coastline Band.
“We want our Live in the District concerts to be unique, from our band lineup to our family friendly activities,” Dixon said. “Park West Village has something for everyone – you can really experience it all!”
The perception of Morrisville as corporate-centric is changing, and Park West Village wants to lead the way.