Commercial Shift & Residential Reduction:1960-1980

By 1960, Pulaski stood at its highest population of 10,469 persons. Having weathered the recession in the late 1950's, the community appeared poised for further growth. With the opening of Interstate 81 through Pulaski County, the construction of the present day Route 99, the construction of present day Bob White Boulevard and the construction of "strip malls" in town, there was a shift of land uses to the northeast, contributing to a weakening of the Town of Pulaski's economic position. 

The most far reaching and damaging change to the Town of Pulaski's economic position was the construction and opening of Interstate 81 through Pulaski County. For the first time in its history, the town found itself no longer on the main route of travel through the area; a change which would have profound impact on downtown Pulaski. In addition, the decline of the passenger rail service which ceased operations in 1971 further reduced the influx of travelers through the Town. 

The construction of present day Route 99 and Bob White Boulevard opened up new commercial areas and fostered the movement of retailers from downtown to new locations to the northeast. The straightening of Peak Creek and creation of the new four-lane Route 99 also provided readily accessible commercial locations for businesses. With its linkage to newly built Bob White Boulevard, Route 99 became the newest commercial corridor for the Town's expansion to the northeast. By replacing Dora Highway as the main eastern entrance into town, incoming traffic was directed away from downtown. 

The final change assisting in the restructuring of commercial land use during this period was the increasing presence of "strip malls". Starting with the Maple Shade Plaza in the early 1960's, strip malls sprang up in various locations throughout the town, which resulted in new concentrations of commercial activity in the existing town, and new centers of activity from further downtown. One noticeable result of these centers was the movement of existing businesses out of downtown or the location of new commercial businesses further from downtown. 

This time period saw an expansion of residential land uses to the northeast. New residential areas sprang up in such areas as Pleasant Hill Drive, Oakhurst Avenue, Hermos Drive, Cardinal Drive, Calremont Court, Windsor Avenue and Monte Vista Drive. With the construction of Memorial Drive in the mid-1970's and the location of White Motors, now Volvo, to Pulaski County, new residences were constructed in the Hopkins Drive, Collins Drive, and Westwood Drive areas. While most of these areas were for single-family detached residences, multi-family areas were constructed along Medallion Drive, Alum Spring Road and on Route 11. 

During this time period, industrial activity remained confined to its traditional areas, with the addition of an industrial area in the vicinity of Xalroy and Pulaski Apparel

An examination of the 1965 Zoning Map, shows that most of the land use classifications remained in place from the 1957 Zoning Ordinance. Most changes in land use, as described above, resulted from development expanding into the northeast section of the Town annexed in 1958. While most of the new area was zoned residential, commercial areas began springing up along the newer roads constructed in the eastern and northeastern part of town. 



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