“Growth has not abated in Johnston County, now home to nearly a quarter of a million people. The community is continuing its evolution from a farming community, to a bedroom community for Wake County and now is starting to become an economic powerhouse of its own. Major developments are sprouting up across the county – from Eastfield in Selma, the Waterfront District within Flowers Plantation, and the Copper District in Clayton.”
The Corridor of Opportunity event series, put on by the Triangle Business Journal is a series which travels across our triangle region, to counties that are experiencing incredible growth and successes. This series puts together a panel of speakers who have a great deal of insight to the county’s activities and happenings.
Kevin Dougherty, President and Owner of AdVenture Development
Chris Johnson, Economic Development Director, Johnston County
Byron McAllister, Mayor of Selma
April Stephens, Broker/Owner, The April Stephens Team and Johnston County Commissioner
Here are some key points made throughout the event:
This is Johnston County’s decade.
Selma is working on “setting the table” for commercial and industrial investments, making sure they have the foundation for everyone who wants to come and invest in Selma. Mayor of Selma, Byron McAllister said, “We have been surprised by the amount of growth and sustained growth that has happened over the last few years. We are excited to take up the challenge, to make sure we have the proper foundation for what is to come.”
Are there any major retailers afraid of coming to Johnston County? All answers indicate, Yes, there are still a lot of players that wouldn’t consider this area. The majority, if not all, of this decision is based on that Johnston County doesn’t quite have the population to support these major brands, as well as, those people who are here, don’t have the income. “You may be early, but you aren’t that early. So many companies have started to pave the way for other companies looking to move to Johnston County.” said Chris Johnson
Based on recent trends, Johnston County will be larger than Durham by 2030. Many newcomers are drawn to the fact that Raleigh is just next door. The workforce has taken full advantage of this, as 60% of the workforce leave Johnston County to work in neighboring counties. County officials are aware of this and have a plan in place to bring this number down. By 2030, Johnston county hopes to retain 70% of its workforce, with only 30% leaving to work elsewhere.
In terms of housing conditions, the data shows that Johnston County housing has peaked. Although this may be true, many residential brokers who are on the ground, working in these areas say that indicators are showing the opposite. They are seeing that housing prices have picked right back up from where they were pre-Covid, much of this due to the mass migration from the west and north-east. Johnston County is seeing an influx of residents coming from both the north-east and Florida. The majority of new residents are finding that their dollar goes further here in Johnston County and websites like Zillow and Realtor.com feed into these findings.
The biggest challenges right now and for the future: The businesses the county is hoping to attract won’t come to Johnston County without the population. What does the population need? Housing.