'All ships rise with the rising tide': Fuquay-Varina businesses enjoy fruits of town's rapid growth

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Fuquay-Varina businesses enjoy fruits of town's rapid growth
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Just south of Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina's population has more than doubled since the 2010 census and that's good for business.

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you want to see the residual impacts of the Triangle's rapid growth, you don't need to go far.

Less than 20 miles south of Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina's population has more than doubled since the 2010 census. The town's estimated population was roughly 18,000 people in 2010, which has ballooned to more than 40,000. Mayor Blake Massengill said the town's never been more prosperous, and that's due in part to all the growth around them.

"All ships rise with the rising tide. You know, good things happen there," Massengill said. "And so what's good for us is good for our neighbors and what happens in a neighboring community is good right here, too."

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Aviator Brewing is an example of that success. The business, which started as a brewery, has grown to fill space on both sides of Broad Street and boasts a BBQ restaurant, tap house, beer shop and pizzeria. Their owner, Mark Doble, is now building a new manufacturing and entertainment complex just down the street from their cluster of restaurants.

"The growth in Fuquay-Varina has been crazy over the last 15 years that we've been in business. So when we see growth, we grow with it," Doble said.

Lights Unlimited, Inc. is also enjoying the rapid growth. As a provider and installer of light fixtures, they've worked with many of the new developments recently constructed in the town.

"All the homes are going up a lot around here. So everybody's coming in to upgrade lighting," said Josh Skula, whose family owns the business.

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Skula said the continued construction of homes is great for business, but it can be a little challenging for traffic.

"They're doing a great job of trying to accommodate that but it's definitely still something that needs to be addressed, I believe because it's 5 o'clock traffic. It don't matter if it's 10 a.m., it's 5 o'clock traffic in Fuquay," he said.

There's even more on the way. A massive, mixed-use development off of Judd Parkway is already under construction, and an expansive retail area isn't far behind it.

"The Gold Leaf Crossing project is breaking ground this summer. That's a new high-end retail commercial project, has nearly 1 million square feet of retail, is bringing in retail opportunities that we don't have in Fuquay-Varina," said Massengill.

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