by: Chase Allgood,

The Cornelius Gateway Shopping Center at 20th and Adair will soon have two new retail tenants: a FedEx Kinko's and a manicure business.

The new stores will be the first to open in the center, which is across 19th Avenue from Walgreens.

FedEx Kinko's plans to open in late March or early April of next year, according to Dominic Pannone, FedEx Kinko's spokesman.

The FedEx Kinko's will be smaller than the company's other retail stores part of a new design launched in August. The store will be staffed by employees from existing FedEx Kinko's stores.

Construction on the 21,300-square-foot retail center was completed late last year, but the center hasn't attracted any tenants until now. Indiana-based Kite Realty was the chief investor in the $9.2 million project.

'We're really not nervous about it filling up, but we don't know how long it's supposed to take,' said Cornelius Development and Operations Manager Richard Meyer.

'The market's there - we know. We've had market studies done there's a lot of demand for services and retail,' Meyer said.

Cornelius city staff couldn't provide details about the manicure business, except that it was in the works.

The Gateway shopping center is part of a plan to build up the central retail core of downtown Cornelius, with Wal-Mart anchoring the other end of the corridor.

Meyer said that Wal-Mart now plans to be open by Nov. 1, 2007.

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