Pinehurst Officials Debate New Development
Posted December 22, 2005 4:16 a.m. EST
PINEHURST, N.C. — It's one of the most exclusive towns in the area. Now village leaders want to develop a large plot near historic downtown Pinehurst. Some say they are thinking ahead, while others say new development could cheapen the old.
Old Town Pinehurst has a feel all its own. People come for its quaint streets and unique boutiques. Many buildings are more than 100 years old.
"This is a one-of-a-kind place," said Pinehurst resident Mike Goglio.
Now village leaders have big plans for the land next to it. They have their eyes on a 19-acre stretch that's currently overgrown. They want to turn it into an upscale marketplace like the heart of Pinehurst.
Planners picture shops, condos, and a parking deck. They want it to match Old Town.
"The way they see it - decide now or leave it to chance," said planner Bruce Gould. "Before developers come knocking on our door telling us what they were going to do, what they had in mind, we figured we'd be proactive and plan the area."
Opponents like the idea of being proactive, but they don't want what's they call a quick-and-dirty version of Old Town.
"The thing that separates Pinehurst from Myrtle Beach or Palm Beach and all of the tourist towns is the fact that we are different," said business owner Tom Stewart. "We offer tradition, tranquility, history."
That history started more than a century ago. Only time will tell whether developers try to copy it.
The Pinehurst Village Council plans to discuss the proposal next month. If it passes, the village would need to line up developers to make the vision reality.