Eastfield will include medical offices, retail stores, housing, hotels, convention center, commercial and industrial facilities
The Johnston County Board of Commissioners unveiled plans for a major mixed-use development in Selma during their monthly meeting Monday. The board also approved a request for local incentives in support of the major investment.
The Town of Selma is the site of a proposed 353-acre mixed-use development that will include a commercial and industrial area known as Eastfield Business Park.
AdVenture Development LLC, a full-service real estate company with offices in Selma and Pittsburgh, plans to develop one million square feet of warehouse and flex-space for industrial and office tenants at the property, which sits on the east side of the intersection of I-95 and U.S. Highway 70 (future I-42).
The new industrial space is part of a much larger plan for medical office facilities, single-family and multi-unit housing, retail shops, hotels and a senior living community. The Eastfield Project will include The Shops at Eastfield, Eastfield Estates, Eastfield Park and Eastfield Village.
Developers expect to invest more than $287.5 million in the initiative. Once complete, Eastfield will be home to 3,100 jobs. It will boost Johnston County’s annual GDP by $169 million, according to an economic impact analysis by Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting, LLC. The project had been in the works since 2005.
“This site is uniquely positioned in the center of the county, the center of the state and the center of the Eastern seaboard,” says Kevin Dougherty, founder and president of AdVenture Development. His company’s interests in the Selma location was initially based on the advantages it offered retailers. “As we looked more closely at the site and considered all its potential, our interests turned to mixed-use and we began to think bigger,” Dougherty says.
Conversations with county leaders helped convinced him the project could encompass convention space, a business park, high-end dining and other amenities currently in short supply in the fast-growing county. He credits a supportive local government with helping define the company’s vision for Eastfield. “Nothing like this takes place in a vacuum,” Dougherty says. “This would not have happened but for the involvement of town and county leaders.”
Commissioners approved a local incentives agreement in support of the industrial phase of the Eastfield development. The first incentive will occur in 2023 once a $40 million investment is made in Eastfield. The second incentive will be paid in 2031 once $250 million is invested and the 3,100 jobs are created.
The property is within one of Johnston County’s four Opportunity Zones, a federal designation intended to draw private investment and job creation into low-wealth communities. The program was part of the tax reform package passed by Congress in December 2017.
“We’re hopeful that Eastfield becomes a recognized model for how county and municipal governments can work with private investors under a sustainable vision for mixed-use development that brings a diverse array of new jobs, amenities, assets and opportunities,” said Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver, who also chairs the Johnston County Economic Development Advisory Committee. “This is a transformative project for the people of Selma, and the future begins today.”