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Progress, Crowding Follow Fayetteville Business Boom

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FAYETTEVILLE — It has been pegged as the most concentrated retail development between Washington DC and Atlanta, Georgia. A an area with a five mile radius around the Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville is stacked with restaurants, stores, and hotels, and it keeps growing.

Signs of construction are everywhere. An office building is going up in one spot and, right next door, a motel. Another will soon open right across the street. The landscape of the area has changed dramatically, and more changes are coming.

"I think it's great," says Nellie Underwood. "When you go shopping, you can keep going around shopping, you don't have to go anywhere."

Bivens doesn't shop anywhere but Fayetteville. She says makes a 30 minute trip from Sampson County at least twice a week.

"There's more stores in Cumberland County than Sampson County and you have a bigger variety," says Bivens.

Variety is key to this area's success. Business leaders say no longer are shoppers having to travel to Raleigh to find a choice. In fact, the Cross Creek Mall area has become a retail hub for a 6 county region.

But is the market growing too fast? The President of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce says 'no.'"

"Businesses who have come in here over the last couple of years, they have been so shocked," says "They do their business plans and projections, then throw them away almost immediately after, because they have exceeded what they anticipated their start up business would be, so I think the market is here."

Unfortunately, along with that kind of progress comes bumper to bumper traffic. An estimated 50,000 cars travel Skibo Road everyday, and that number is expected to nearly double in the next 20 years. The state is already working to add a third lane there.

"When you think everyone's at work, you should be able to come out and do what you have to do and go back, but you can't move," says

Although there is a lot of land still available in the area, it's tough to come by. Property values in the business area have doubled in the last 10 years and they are increasing at an average of seven percent a year.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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