I’m disappointed in the lack of flying cars, meals in pill form and killer robots roaming our countryside — but all in all, the teens have been quite a decade for Sanford, North Carolina, in terms of progress. 

But for all the positive changes here in the last 10 years, it’s my belief that it’ll be the next 10 years that end up defining our area for the foreseeable future. I spent two weeks recently in a Native American sweat lodge and came away with a clear vision of 2020s. The following are just some of the things Baby Yoda told me during my experience. 



The teens were all about South Sanford and considerable retail growth along South Horner Boulevard (remember, barely any of that existed when the 2011 tornado tore through Lowes Home Improvement. 

The next decade will be about the north and the west — the proposed Galvin’s Ridge Subdivision at U.S. 1 and Colon Road alone could bring nearly 1,000 homes to a large 400-acre lot, in addition to retail and other businesses. 

You’re already seeing some growth in this forgotten end of Sanford, with the large First Health building along U.S. 1, but there’s immense room for growth. Go further south and west and there’s Tramway, also ripe for growth and still awaiting its “super street” construction. 

The next Cary and Apex? I hope not. Part of Sanford’s charm is it’s not “sprawled out” with cookie-cutter homes and poorly planned traffic connections. But there is tons of room for growth here, and as great as the retail boom in South Sanford has been lately, it’s struggling on this side of town (see Riverbirch). 


We’ve gone over this before. Sanford simply doesn’t have the economy to attract a Target. It’s still a pretty fun inside joke at The Rant, because it’s at the top of everybody’s wish list.

I could be wrong — look, we did get a Starbucks — but I feel pretty safe in this prediction.

That said … the 20s will see an influx in that other thing everybody here pines for — chain restaurants. 

I’m not sure if it’ll be an Olive Garden, a Chili’s or a Saltgrass (that’s the one I’m hoping for), but it’s coming. The success of Sanford’s new breweries, Coach’s, new fast food additions (thank you, Jersey Mike’s) shows the city can support these places. Plus, there’s that aforementioned growth. 

Free breadsticks, y’all. 


The 1920s were the first decade in our country’s history that had a “look” … thanks to the rise of movies, radio, automobiles, nightclubs and jazz.

The “flapper” look defined that era, and I predict that since our current culture is more interested in copying the past than creating something new (when it comes to fashion and pop culture), the 2020s will see the return of flappers, one-piece bathing suits, zoot suits, radio dramas, organized crime and black and white movies. 

We’ll call it the Roaring 20s again — the only difference is we’ll have memes.  


This is the part of the column I almost didn’t share, but there’s still room and the sweat lodge visions demanded it. 

In 2024, Earth will be visited by aliens. They’ll look similar to the aliens we see in the movies, and they’ll communicate with us through complicated mind telepathy. They’ll seem nice at first, but after a while one of us will discover that their giant “How to Cook for Humans” book is actually a “How to Cook Humans” book. This will lead to a giant war that will eventually unite all nations against a common enemy. We’ll win, I’ve been told, but the cost will be great. 

The aliens we capture will be used for science to create only the best memes. 

And we will all live in harmony. 

Merry Christmas, Sanford.

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