Monday, August 04, 2008

Will a humongo new shopping center be coming to Selma?

I have heard for almost two years about a possible new large shopping center coming to town at exit 97 and Hwy 70 near JR's. Originally, the story was that a Home Depot and maybe a Target were coming. Recently, I have heard more rumors. Now there is a formal news story on the subject in The Selma News. The developer presented before the Selma Town Council on Wednesday. By the way, I am not so much in favor of constant special meetings of the town council as a matter of public policy, but that is beside the point.

The developer mentioned possible tenants as Target, Bass Pro Shop, Cabellas, JC Penney, and IKEA, along with up-scale restaurants and motels. Keep in mind that these are just suggested POSSIBILITIES. I am all for such a development, so don't get me wrong. However, keep in mind at this point, the developer is selling the idea and soliciting getting $15 million or so in reimbursements from the town for infrastructure improvements. I am not for corporate welfare programs. I am, however, for the town paying for bringing needed utilities to customers and helping with roads that benefit the town, not just the developer.

Personally, I am dubious over the claim of a Cabella's. I would LOVE to have a Cabella's. However, one already was proposed for Four Oaks and that project crashed and burned. Cabella's announced that they were going to put one in to Richmond, VA and figured that one here would be too close. I find that claim fallacious, but whatever. Just look at the map of their existing locations on their web site (the link I gave). I am not going to drive three hours to go to a Cabella's. If they reconsider because of a better location, highway access, and other development, then hallelujah. I would be thrilled with a Bass Pro Shops, as well.

Anyway, this development would certainly be good for the town for several reasons. First, the developer wants to be voluntarily annexed. Great. They would bring a lot of revenue for electricity and water, if they were to become Selma utility customers. The tax revenue would be wonderful. Other development would certainly come as a result, as well as possible residents.

It will certainly be interesting to see what "develops" in this situation. I am all for development of fallow ground and expanding this area. I am dubious as to the claims that "as much as $500 million in sales tax is leaving the county each year to go to Wake, Wayne, Wilson and Nash counties." That sounds like an excessively high estimate. It is part of the sales pitch.

I do agree with this quote, though.
Dougherty added that Selma is unique in the county in that it is ideally situated to host such a regional complex. He cited I-95 and US 70 and major thoroughfares. He said Exit 98 is excellent for such a complex because it has great access. "There’s no other city right on the an interchange like this," said the developer, who has had an office in Selma for the past two years.
Troy's note: Exit 98 must be a typo, since 98 is the next exit up the interstate and is not the JR's exit. That is exit 97. Access on and off 98 sucks and is difficult, and it could not support the heavy traffic that would come from such a complex. Exit 97 could. If it is not a typo and a direct quote, then it must have been a faux pas.

Either way, I am looking forward to seeing the addition to the town.

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