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Pepsi Plant Brings Promise of Good Things to SE Raleigh

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RALEIGH — Southeast Raleigh has long battled a bad image, lagging behind other parts of the city in development and jobs. But Friday, state and city officials joined Pepsi executives in breaking ground for a $7 million distribution center that promises only good things for the area.

The 44 acre site sits near the Intersection of Interstate-40 and Jones Sausage Road. That's not really in the city, but an area that will be annexed. The Pepsi operation will create 80-new jobs sorely needed in an area that has not kept up with the rest of the city.

City and community leaders have pushed for development in southeast Raleigh for a long time, but commercial and business growth has been slow in coming.

Typically, communities such as Southeast Raleigh house residents with lower incomes, small businesses and low-paying industries. Such areas often have decaying low income homes, old businesses, warehousing operations a perception of high crime.

That's how most people view southeast Raleigh, but there is another view. It's one of people living in well kept homes who are proud of their communities.

The area where the new Pepsi-Cola operation will be is primarily open land. Those who live in and promote the area say it has a lot to offer.

Raleigh Council Member Brad Thompson says it's a good place for business.

A comprehensive plan resulted in the infrastructure developers' need to make things happen. There has been progress and, while some think it's slow, community leaders are encouraged.

Clarence Lightner of the SE Raleigh Improvement Committee says it's worth it to continue pursuing new business.

The Pepsi lead may entice more development and more jobs.

Raleigh City Manager Dempsey Benton says there are some leads.

If Southeast Raleigh can rid itself of its negative image, perhaps an exciting and prosperous future can be forged there. Walnut Creek, Southeast Raleigh High School and several new industries are magnets for healthier growth, and development that some in Raleigh and Cary don't want would be welcome in southeast Raleigh.


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