SALINE CO., Ark. (KTHV) - If you feel like Saline County has exploded with growth over the last few years, well, you're not alone. Over the last five years, Benton and Bryant have grown by almost 10,000 people and shows no signs of slowing down.
Shopping centers like Hurricane Creek are one reason Saline County is now one of Central Arkansas' hottest destinations.
"Benton and Bryant have definitely sort of become hotspots,” said Jonathan Lupton, research planner at Metroplan.
He said for the last five years, Saline County has been the latest and greatest growing community of central Arkansas.
"Conway has slowed down quite a bit. It used to be a hot spot," said Lupton. "It's got a strong economy, but it doesn't have the rapid growth in housing that you see in Benton and Bryant."
That housing, Lupton said, is being built to accommodate all the young families making their way to Benton and Bryant.
"It's getting to be a destination where people want to go there just because they have nightlife, to meet friends, and get out and walk in a way they haven't done before," he explained.
Everywhere you look new businesses, neighborhoods, and developments are popping up around each city.
"It's been phenomenal and fun to watch. It just continues to grow bigger and better each year,” said Carlton Billingsley, a small business owner and Bryant City Council Member.
He said the growth is good for business and that Bryant has seen an increase in commercial and residentials clients looking to come to the growing town.
Neither Benton nor Bryant show no signs of slowing down. Saline County is expected to have a population of 130,000 by 2020. Benton itself has grown almost 12% from 2010-2015 while Bryant grew nearly 20% in that same time period.
"We've got amenities here where people don't have to go outside of Bryant or outside of Saline County to go get services that before," Billingsley said. "15 years ago, most of the services were done in the Capital of Arkansas."
Benton and Bryant will continue to be a hot spot for years to come, but some pre-established businesses are already taken advantage of the growth. Everett Buick GMC is expanding across the interstate and Hurricane Creek is already leasing out spots for phase two of its growth.