Triangle Growth Spurt Spreads to Smaller Towns
Posted January 5, 1999
FUQUAY-VARINA — The Triangle is a beacon. People are pouring in from all over the country. We all know Cary and Raleigh are hot spots, but now, homes and businesses are sprouting up in record numbers in other areas too.
A population boom is happening in places that have never experienced one before.
Affordable housing and less congestion is luring people to southern Wake County, west Johnston County and southern Durham County near the RTP.
Seeing a new sub-division in the area is nothing new, but they keep popping up in the outermost reaches of the Triangle in places like Fuquay-Varina.
Over the next few years, Fuquay-Varina will issue close to 400 housing permits annually, triple the rate of the mid-1990s.
"There are housing developments in areas that I never thought I'd see a house," said resident Robin Simmang.
This did not stop Simmang from moving back to the town she grew up in. She and her husband returned to Fuquay-Varina three weeks ago.
"It has still got that small town atmosphere. It's still nice to walk out on the street and have people speak to you," Simmang said.
So Fuquay-Varina has decided to welcome growth.
"We don't want to grow too fast, but we are certainly not wanting to turn away any growth," said Mayor Bob Barker.
The mayor says the town has planned ahead with expansions to its water and sewer capacities and school renovations. There is only one concern.
"The biggest drawback is probably our transportation," said Barker.
While Highway 401 now has four lanes, some other roads need to be widened in Fuquay-Varina.
But at least for the next year or so, the only construction folks will be seeing here will be more homes going up.
Fuquay-Varina does have time on its side. Right now, its population is only 7,500.
Other nearby towns are working on other approaches. In Holly Springs, for example, they are working on a village-style development.
Two and half years ago just under 7,000 people lived in Apex. Now the western Wake County town has a little over 16,000 residents. By 2010, the population is projected to jump to 60,000.