HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. — For years, people in Holly Springs have complained about having to go out of town to get what they need. But it's a new day.
The town has seen a boom in commercial business, and it all started with a Wal-Mart.
Two hours after opening, the new Wal-Mart had its fan base. Customers couldn't wait to get in, and town leaders couldn't wait to cash in.
“Already, we’ve had people coming that weren’t interested maybe in Holly Springs before, but now they are because we have a Wal-Mart,” said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears.
The area near the N.C. Highway 55 Bypass has quickly become the new commercial center for Holly Springs.
“N.C. 55 and Main Street are kind of connecting in that south end of the town, and there was also a lot of land available in large parcels,” said Irena Krstanovic, who works on economic development for the town. “I think that’s why it’s happening in that southwest corridor of the town.”
There are three shopping centers going up with dozens of new stores, condos and townhouses. All together, it's more than 450,000 square feet of retail space and more than 40 acres of residential development.
Many residents said it's coming right on time and that they're sick of going everywhere else to get what they couldn't right in town.
“Before, I had to go all the way down to Fuquay. [It’s] kind of a hassle with two kids,” said shopper Bridget Brooks.
Overcrowding is perhaps the one fear about the growth. But city leaders said they can handle it, and they're not slowing down. Town leaders said they expect most of the development in the area around the 55 bypass to be complete by the end of next year.