Development squeezes roads

July 20, 2009 3:42:07 PM PDT
Marissa Cole and her family just moved to Hope Mills from Alaska. They're living now on the frontier of a boom town. "I like it that it is so close to the city, but they are not bombarded with city life around them, They are able to play in the yard have nice neighbors," she said of her kids.

The Coles are among the first residents in new development called Millstone Village. It sits on 80 acres along Camden Road bordering Hope Mills. Developer Tommy Bradford says the $100 million project is a mix of homes, apartments and businesses including a 14 screen cinema.

"I see this place being full and vibrant and all Camden Road is developing as fast as we can develop it. This is going to be the hub of it," he explained.

But there is a price to this progress. Camden Road residents say traffic is going to be a nightmare.

"If you are in that rush hour time frame, because it backs up. It really backs up from light to light, and my concern is they are not going to widen the road," said resident Heather Morel.

Traffic worries Mayor Eddie Dees too. He agrees with business experts who say the area around Hope Mills is one of the fasting growing in North Carolina.

"We got some great schools in the area with Southview, Jack Britt and Greys Creek and I just think people are realizing and BRAC of course is close by feeding into that - just a great place to be."

BRAC - or the reassignment of more military units to Fort Bragg from other bases around the country - means more and more families will settle in and around Hope Mills. It's a place that is growing by leaps and bounds.

Developers hope to open the 14 screen theatre in mid October. The other stores, restaurants and businesses will soon follow they say.

And in the midst of all the growth, town leaders say their biggest goal is making sure Hope Mills keeps the values that make it a good place to live.


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