With nearly 27,000 residents, Garner is one of Wake County’s fast-growing towns, experiencing a 47 percent jump in population since 2000. Garner’s rapid growth is expected to continue as both residential and commercial construction are increasing at significant rates. Garner’s outstanding quality of life and strong community spirit have received plenty of notice recently, as evidenced by online rankings as well as the town’s designation as an All-America City. Both private- and public-sector investment will shape Garner over the next several years with the town’s voter-approved bond program kicking into top gear. Garner continues to aggressively market the Garner Technology Center, a premier industrial site in Wake County with 98 acres fronting Interstate 40, all utilities available on site, a new wastewater pre-treatment plant and a possible incentive package worth millions of dollars. The news from this booming town underscores why Garner is a great place to be.
No town in the Triangle has a stronger sense of community than Garner. Garner’s civic bonds remain powerful even as the town has grown by nearly 50 percent since 2000. Those bonds are the reason why the National Civic League named Garner an All-America City in 2013—the first time a Wake County municipality earned that honor in three decades.
Garner has seen a 45 percent jump year over year in permits for new residential construction—an increase surpassing that of any other Wake County municipality during the same period, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. Garner’s hot neighborhoods in recent years includeThe Village at Aversboro, a 55-plus community in the heart of South Garner, and Eagle Ridge, a golf course community spreading over more than 500 acres.
Garner’s superior quality of life is no longer a secret. The national real-estate broker Movoto ranked Garner the fifth-best city or town in North Carolina and sixth most affordable.
Other recent accolades and accomplishments include:
- 2014 Playful City USA designation by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to preserving play for America’s children.
- Garner Police Department reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
- Garner Senior Center recertification as a Center of Excellence by the state of North Carolina.
- Garner Magnet High School earning Best High Schools Bronze status from U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years and running (2012-2014).
- Garner Public Works Department becoming first agency in the state to earn accreditation from the American Public Works Association.
In December, the engineering services firm Overland Contracting, Inc., announced that it would be moving its headquarters to Garner’s Greenfield North Business Park. Meanwhile, work got underway in Garner on North Carolina’s first Cabela’s outdoors superstore in 2014 with a grand opening expected this spring. The company recently announced that it was hiring 225 employees for the new store, which has already spurred additional commercial development in the area around U.S. 70 and White Oak Road. New restaurants announced for that area include Carolina Ale House, Longhorn Steakhouse, City Barbecue and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Announcements about additional tenants for the area are expected very soon.
Over the next couple of years, Garner will see a spike in public-sector development, with a new Town Hall, police station and indoor recreation center among the major projects being funded by an ambitious $35.7 million bond program approved overwhelmingly by voters in March 2013. In addition, Wake County Public Schools is building a new high school and elementary school in South Garner, and a massive renovation of Garner Magnet High is also on tap.
Garner Technology Center
The town continues to aggressively market the Garner Technology Center, a premier industrial site in Wake County with 98 acres fronting Interstate 40, utilities, a wastewater pre-treatment plant and a possible incentive package worth several millions of dollars. Businesses at this shovel-ready site can enjoy easy access to one of the fastest-growing regions in the country with significant industry clusters in the areas of technology, life sciences, smart grid and advanced manufacturing. And it’s all a mere 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh.
The Garner Performing Arts Center (724 W. Garner Road; 919.661.4602), located in the historic old Garner High School building, is home to the award-winning Broadway Voices series as well as the It’s Showtime! performing arts series. GPAC is also the base for the much-acclaimed Towne Players of Garner, a community theater group that produces shows year round and offers a popular youth theater camp in the summer.
White Deer Park (2400 Aversboro Road; 919.661-6982) boasts 96 acres of passive parkland with a network of paved and unpaved trails connecting the park to neighboring Lake Benson Park and neighborhoods and schools in South Garner. The park has two playgrounds as well as picnic shelters for rental. Its LEED Gold-certified Nature Center offers educational programming and activities for citizens of all ages.
Lake Benson Park (921 Buffaloe Road) has picnic shelters, playgrounds and walking trails. It’s home to the town’s annual Independence Day celebration and to the Garner Veterans Memorial, an inspiring and educational structure dedicated in 2013 and made possible by a citizen-led initiative.
Lake Benson boathouse (975 Buffaloe Road; 919.662.5703) is open on weekends from mid-March to late October and offers boat and canoe rentals. There is also free fishing from the dock.
White Oak Crossing shopping center at the confluence of Interstate 40, U.S. 70 and White Oak Road offers a wide range of shopping and dining options. The area will soon include a Cabela’s, slated to open in spring 2015, as well as a variety of new restaurants and other retailers.
For more information on investment opportunities and economic development matters, please contact Assistant Town Manager, Development Services:
Garner Revitalization Association
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