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Cape Fear Riverbanks May Fill Up with High-Tech Industry

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FAYETTEVILLE — Aside from getting our drinking water from the Cape Fear River, the river has been an untapped, undeveloped asset. Now, plans are underway to bring high-tech industry to a 24-acre that borders the river.

"What we see is a digital community," said Clarence Briggs,Advanced Internet Technologypresident.

Briggs has big plans for the 24-acre site on the outskirts of downtownFayetteville.

"I'd like to see high-tech businesses, select retail stores and restaurants. Perhaps a boardwalk and integrate that into the environment," said Briggs.

AIT is one of the largest privately held Web hosting companies in the world. The Fayetteville based company will build its new headquarters here.

Although the concept is similar toRTP , Briggs wants this park to be known for its application of technology.

It is negotiating to lease space to other high-tech businesses bringing with them an estimated 150 high paying jobs this year.

"Those communities that adopt and enhance the technological and information age will be the winner in the next century," said Harry Whalen, President of Fayetteville Area Economic Development.

Tuesday, AIT talked about the project with community leaders. The company is asking the city and other private businesses to help develop the riverfront.

"I think if we can get this project to be successful, it would inspire more growth up and down the river," said Councilman Paul Williams.

Construction on the AIT building will begin within three months. It will be built on this former CSX Railroad property where an old playground now stands.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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