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Wake Forest Brings Sides Together to Address Growth

The town has felt heavy pressure as the population has gone from 3,000 in 1980 to 25,000 now.

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Raleigh feels a lot of the pressure as Wake County grows fast, but not all of it. Some of those 66 new people who move in every day are going to Wake Forest.

In 1980, 3,000 people lived there. Today, it's more than 25,000, and half of those have moved in since 2000.

The growth has local officials trying to make sure growth doesn't spin out of control.

While construction grinds along, elected representatives, developers and town staff members came together for a first-of-its kind meeting Thursday.

The Greater Wake Forest Economic Summit put all the parties investing in the town's growth in the same room.

One of them was developer Andy Ammons, whose Ammons Development Group has plans for 900 acres on the northeast side of town.

“I think the whole Triangle is in a situation where you can't pick out any one spot where you can just stop growth. And if you try to stop it in one city, say if Wake Forest tried to stop it, it would just go around us and go to other areas and communities, so it's not like any one person can stop and start growth,” Ammons said.

“Having a session like this where we can talk to each other and give our visions to each other and start to work together, I think that's how you do it,” Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones said of the process for handling the growth Ammons sees as inevitable.

Some worry the town is growing too fast.

A 250-acre former dairy farm is one of the last big undeveloped parcels near downtown Wake Forest. Holding Village is on the way. It'll transform open fields into homes, apartments, condos, retail and offices.

“If we come together, that is a beginning. If we stay together, that is progress. But if we work together, that is success,” Jones said.


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