Making Space For Quality of Place

March 22, 2024 | Written by: Campbell Wheby

Carolina Trace Country Club

Quality of Life (QoL) often emerges as a pivotal concept in economic development conversations, profoundly influencing the decisions of companies contemplating relocation. Employers understand that their ability to attract a skilled workforce hinges significantly on the appeal of the community they choose and its contribution to the QoL of residents and commuters alike. However, QoL is highly subjective, varying from person to person based on individual aspirations, social needs, and emotional well-being. Consequently, crafting a universally appealing QoL vision presents a challenge, as no single blueprint can cater to the diverse preferences of every individual or employee.

So, how does one cultivate a comprehensive QoL framework that resonates with everyone, including prospective companies? The answer lies in meticulous planning, thoughtful construction, and diligent maintenance of various physical attributes such as recreation, entertainment, and communal spaces. A well-rounded QoL infrastructure encompasses diverse housing options, ample green spaces, reputable educational institutions, robust infrastructure, safety measures, and an array of amenities catering to different demographics within the community.

The allure of a community, whether to visitors or prospective industries, has long been intertwined with its quality of place. In Lee County and Sanford, the robust infrastructure has historically served as a major asset for residents and a magnet for industrial ventures. However, enhancing QoL entails more than just a handful of attractive features; it requires visionary foresight and sustained commitment to community enrichment. Lee County has been fortunate to possess a culture of visionary planning, evident in landmark initiatives dating back to its beginnings.

One such visionary endeavor was the inception of the Carolina Trace community, conceived in 1959 by Joyce and Bill Arnold. This ambitious project, spearheaded by Sandhill Properties Inc., envisioned a sprawling recreational haven nestled in Lee County. The announcement of a “Giant Golf-Recreational Site” in 1969, featuring two meticulously designed golf courses by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and a picturesque 315-acre lake, heralded a new era for Sanford. This development not only enriched the local lifestyle but also served as a compelling draw for new residents and businesses alike.

Today, the Carolina Trace Country community stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of visionary planning. With over 1,600 homes and a thriving country club offering an array of amenities, it attracts residents of all ages. The Carolina Trace Country Club offers event venues, excellent golf courses, social events, and other enriching amenities in a tranquil setting.  Membership to the club is open to non-residents of Carolina Trace who see this as a great addition to their QoL aspirations.

The pursuit of QoL excellence is a multifaceted endeavor that demands foresight, innovation, and collective action. By prioritizing the development of quality of place assets and fostering a culture of collaboration, Lee County and Sanford are poised to enrich the lives of their residents and foster sustained economic prosperity for years to come.

Crystal Gaddy, Business Retention and Expansion Manager