New shopping plaza divides New Bern residents

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Some community members in New Bern are excited for a new 300,000-square-foot shopping plaza located just off Trent Road near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, while others are concerned it could increase traffic in the area.

Stores in the center will include a Ross, a Hobby Lobby, an Academy Sports and an Ulta.

“It’s going to give us more things in the area to purchase,” said Juleon Dove, who lives in the area. “It will give more of the local people jobs that we need, and it will keep us around and keep the money right here in Craven County,”

While many are ready to see construction start, community member Stephen Spaziante said new development could become a traffic nightmare.

“Trent Road will become very big, and Trent Road is a nice road just to run up and down and not have any volume on it,” Spaziante said.

He said he believes city leaders should have spread the development out and not have it all so close to Moore’s BBQ.

The new center will have 18 other commercial areas, possibly for small business owners.

“It will add to the overall quality of the town and bring more people here,” said Ann Bowman, who lives in the area. “We won’t have to go out of town to shop.”

The development is supposed to take about two years and bring around 1,000 jobs to Craven County.

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