Johnston/So. Wake County

VOL16ISS1 2017

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THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE—JOHNSTON/SOUTHERN WAKE COUNTIES NC | VOLUME 16—ISSUE 1 28 HOLLY SPRINGS Holly Springs BY ALYSSA LAFARO In 1990, approximately 900 people called the little town of Holly Springs home. Today, nearly 30,000 people inhabit this southern city just 30 minutes southwest of Raleigh. By 2025, it's predicted to grow to have 42,000 residents. Located between Apex and Fuquay-Varina, this booming metropolis began as a city of twos — its founding rooted in two 40-foot tall holly trees that shade a freshwater spring across the street from the present- day high school. Formerly the Tuscarora Indian hunting ground, colonial settlers saw the value of the nearby freshwater source and formed a town around it. Soon enough, they'd built a few homes, a sawmill, a cotton gin and a general store. In 1805, they erected a combined schoolhouse and church, the first of four to join the Raleigh Baptist Association. A few miles north, construction of a second church began at the intersection of two roads — a crossroads that is, today, downtown Holly Springs. Just as its two famous trees, two churches and two crisscrossing roadways, this ever-growing city has two stories. The first is the "far history" mentioned above — the nearly 200-year span of the town's formation through the late 20th century. The second is what the city calls its "near history," or the immense growth it began to experience in 1990. Now the fifth largest town in Wake County — having grown by 12,539 people from 2010 to 2014, alone — Holly Springs opens its doors to new businesses every year. Eateries abound here and offer a vast palette, from flavors of Greece and Lebanon (MediTerra Grill), to the spices of Mexico (Mi Cancun), to hops-filled homemade brews (Bombshell Beer Company and Carolina Brewing). Kitschy mom-and-pops are everywhere. Thanks a Latte, for example, serves up daily doses of caffeine and keeps patrons lingering with its wide selection of unique gifts. Gifted Boutique and Wrappery offers handmade goods along with a wide selection of colorful papers, bows and embellishments to wrap them. Manufacturing is Holly Springs' leading industry due, in part, to flu vaccine supplier Sequris, which erected the nation's first flu cell culture manufacturing facility in Holly Springs in 2006, creating more than 450 jobs. The city's other major employers include GMA Supply (building products supplier), OFM Inc. (office furniture distributor), Rovisys (automation/information solutions), Pierce Group Benefits (insurance), Ideal Landscaping and Rex Healthcare. The median household income is high at $89,187, as are home ownership rates and household sizes. Approximately 88 percent of the population owns their homes, which house an average of three people — both statistics are the highest for all of Wake County. A big draw for families is the nearby Bass Lake Park and Retreat Center, home to hiking trails, a wildlife observation platform and a 54-acre lake great for dock and free bank fishing. As a North Carolina Environmental Education Center, it features an extensive nature library and hosts programs throughout the year such as TurtleFest. This educational event held each May not only celebrates turtles but other wild animals through interactive exhibits and presentations lead by biologists, herpetologists and wildlife rehabilitators. Many of the town's other events take place at the Holly Springs Cultural Center. It's 184-seat indoor performance space and Springs Outdoor Stage host theatre productions, concerts, festivals and other community gatherings throughout the year including the Community Arts Festival. This annual, week-long celebration showcases the creativity of local artists, dancers, musicians and actors through performances, an arts and crafts fair, classes, a gala and more. To continually recognize both the "far" and "near" of Holly Springs, it began rebranding itself in 2014. Its new logo — swirling blue water around a holly leaf — represents the city's origins but also its progressive desire to move forward and recognize the new community that continues to expand there. "Just as the early settlers found the holly-covered springs to be a source of life-giving water," says the city's website, "today's residents find Holly Springs to be a source of many good things that improve the quality and completeness of their lives." [] livability, family-oriented, and turtle fest

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