Business owners in Lexington hope that new projects mean continued growth

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Lexington native Eric Everhart considers opening his own business in the city he grew up in a dream come true.

The Butcher's Block has been open for about six months and as his clientele grows, he's excited to see the continued business growth around him in uptown Lexington.

"We're heading in the right direction," Everhart said. "There's a lot of new businesses coming to town and pretty much opening something monthly."

Keeping Lexington an attractive destination for businesses and families is a constant goal for people working for the city.

"We're a community now that people want to be a part of and we're starting to see that," said City Manager Alan Carson.

And to make that community stronger, Lexington leaders spent the past couple days in a retreat, to look toward the future and get on the same page for the upcoming fiscal year budget.

Part of that is improving what they already have.

"We're looking at some fire station, fire department needs, some police department needs," Carson said.

But it's also about creating something new.

"We're getting ready to build a 13,000-square-foot BMX skate board park. Would be one of the largest ones around," Carson said.

They're getting ready to break ground this spring, hoping to open the park this fall. It's something So Stoked Skate Shop owner Levi Scholler is stoked about.

"It gives them a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging. Some place they can all go and you can always find somebody that's going to be there to skate," Scholler said. "That's kind of what skateboarding is all about. The community and camaraderie of it."

An indoor recreation center will be the next major project for the city's parks department, slated to be running in 2020.

"As we grow, we're going to need more hotels for people to come, so we got a hotel coming and they should break ground in the fall," Carson said.

And around where the hotel will be, is 125 acres ripe for business development near the Lexington Parkway Plaza.

"It's good to see the city coming back to life after seeing the furniture industry leaving Lexington and now we're starting to revitalize and come back to life," Everhart said.

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