Clearing begins along Highway 501 for Gander Mountain

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - Clearing trees and forest area has begun for Gander Mountain in Carolina Forest.

The clearing began Wednesday along the stretch of Highway 501 near Tanger Outlets.

The new outdoor apparel, gear and equipment store will be right between Tanger Outlets and Ollie's Bargain Outlet.

The project creates a new connector road that will allow drivers from Carolina Forest Boulevard to the outlets without getting on Highway 501.

It is an added bonus to both local drivers and business owners.

"Traffic is terrible if you have to get out on501 and go towards the beach or even towards the colleges," shared Nick Brown. Brown lives and works in the area.

He said it can take him more than 20 minutes to get to work at the Tanger Outlets, which is only a few miles from his home.

In addition to alleviating congestion on Highway 501, business owners hope the access road will help drive up their business.

"If we have connecting roads over here they'll go 'oh there is more shopping over here' and then find the one across the way," explained David Carpenter, the co-owner of Fat Cat Cafe on Carolina Forest Blvd.

Carpenter recently opened his coffee shop and said the constant growth in the area drove him to pick the plaza near Ollie's.

With the news of Gander Mountain opening its doors next spring, he hopes the store will pull even more people to the area.

"We get something like that going in, it is going to drag people this way and locals love it because there's more for them to do," said Carpenter.

He explained the plaza is already getting more attention, even though the store is not in yet.

"You're building up the community and people are noticing that things are changing around here," he said.

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