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Resident: Holly Springs Used to Be 'Little, Black Community'

Posted October 11, 2007

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— More people are calling the town of Holly Springs home. It's one of the fastest-growing suburbs.

Nearly 20,000 people live in the town now. In 2000, it had almost 10,000 residents. A decade before that, a little more than 900 people lived there.

From her front porch, lifetime resident Dora Richardson has watched the transformation.

“I was born April 18, 1939, just a little ways from here, maybe not even a mile,” she said. “It used to be just a little, black community, and now, there’s everybody here.”

Holly Springs is now a "List" town: one of the best places to live, one of the fastest-growing suburbs. Just 20 years ago, the town was 1 square mile. Now it is about 7.5 square miles.

Town Clerk Joni Powell said she remembers sending out 200 water bills by hand on post cards in 1987. They collected them in a cigar box.

“Holly Springs was predominantly a minority community of low-income families,” Powell said. “Today, it’s predominantly a community of Caucasian families that are rather affluent [with] higher-middle class income.”

After living in the town her entire life, Richardson said she has adjusted to the growth.

“I think they want to get rid of us and get us in a subdivision,” she laughed. “You can always get used to something else.”

Town leaders said they're being smart about growth and making sure the infrastructure can support all the people.

“We’re now growing at about two families a day and will probably peak out at about 40,000 to 50,000 people,” said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears.

Town leaders said Holly Springs has seen in two decades the kind of growth most cities see over a century.

Developers are keeping up the momentum. They recently broke ground on a new subdivision for 1,300 homes. It's the largest first phase of a development ever in the town.