We were, admittedly, as shocked as many others when we learned that Garner is not one of the faster growing towns in Wake County. In fact, based on the number of new faces, Garner is growing more slowly than any other town in Wake County – even smaller towns like Rolesville, Wendell or Zebulon.
But we would suggest that such slow growth is OK for now. While Garner’s commercial growth has been red hot thanks to new development underway in the White Oak area, the slower population growth gives the town the opportunity to prepare for the time when new rooftops will dominate the growth sector. And because Garner’s growth is largely commercial right now, it provides greater financial reward for the town and adds less strain to the town’s resources.
Garner’s leaders have been working toward improving infrastructure and public resources now before those people begin to arrive in earnest.
One thing we do feel comfortable in predicting here is this: Despite the fact that population growth may be somewhat slow in Garner now, the construction of N.C. 540 will eventually lead to increases in Garner’s population. And those increases will likely be significant. Completion of that roadway is still years away, which means we may not see population numbers jump off the charts right away, but as people take more jobs in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and RTP, they will be on the lookout for a nice place to live where the commute to those business centers isn’t murderous. They will find that in Garner.
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And our town’s population growth will begin to climb charts like the one released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In a lot of ways, it’s better for people who live in the town of Garner to have the commercial growth come before the population growth. That gives Garner residents the best of both worlds.