IN THE EAST: Eastfield Crossing is a “game-changer” for Johnston County The Selma Town Council unanimously approved an annexation ordinance, development agreement, and incentive agreement with AdVenture Development of Selma, spurring excitement about economic growth throughout the region. Mayor Cheryl Oliver called Selma’s annexation of the 2.8 million-squarefoot Eastfield Crossing development a “game-changer” for the town. “The Eastfield development is a game-changer for Selma, Johnston County, and eastern North Carolina,” said Oliver. “As a mixed-use development providing a wide range of offerings including a retail/commercial complex, new residential units, a medical office park, a retirement village, an industrial/business park, and more, it will provide jobs, increase our tax base, contribute to a positive image of our area, and serve as a catalyst for further development east of I-95.” The $287 million development, located off I-95 at the U.S. 70/U.S. 70-A junction, will create 3,100 new jobs. Eastfield is a 12-year project with two phases. The first phase is a $40 million, 1 million square-foot warehouse and flexspace construction for industrial and office tenants, scheduled to be completed by 2023. The remainder of the development will be finished by 2031. Besides annexation, the town approved an agreement providing incentive payments from the town of Selma to Eastfield. The funding for those payments will come from property tax revenues the town receives from Eastfield. In no year will incentive grants be greater than 90 percent of the tax revenue Selma collects. The town approved an infrastructure reimbursement agreement that will allow the town of Selma to be reimbursed by Eastfield for some or all of the expenses to provide public infrastructure for the project. To administer this agreement, state law required that the town adopt a capital improvement plan with Eastfield. “This agreement will be a huge economic boost for the town of Selma and hopefully ignite other development along the I-95 corridor,” said Johnston County Economic Development Director Chris Johnson. “The project investment has to be one of the largest projects that I am aware of for the corridor and eastern North Carolina in quite some time. With the shared sales tax revenue, the benefit will be felt by every town in Johnston County.” Credit: Johnstonian News; Story by Steve Reed – www.johnstoniannews.com

Colleen Rumler