CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new high-end development is coming to Johnston County and one of the fastest-growing areas near the Triangle.
The massive project, called the Waterfront District at Flowers Plantation, will be built along N.C. 42, at the crossroads of Buffalo Road and Flowers Crossroads in Clayton.
The multi-use development will include about 300 condos, restaurants, retail space, and a hotel, just one section of plans for more than 1,000 new condos, townhomes, and apartments in the coming years. For the Waterfront District, there are plans for the first tenants to move in during mid-to-late 2024.
"With the growth in Johnston County of the manufacturing businesses, Novo Nordisk, other units that are coming on, then people are seeing this with the amenity of the East Triangle YMCA and 25 miles plus of walking trail, they're 25 minutes from downtown Raleigh, 30-35 minutes from the airport," said Reid Stephenson, CEO of Flowers Plantation.
To handle the influx of cars, Stephenson pointed to road improvements underway.
"NC-42 as we speak is being widened to four lanes with a median, Buffalo Road to our north and south, that is being engineered by (NC)DOT because they see that needs to be four lanes as well," said Stephenson, who further discussed the addition of stoplights and push-button crosswalks for pedestrians.
It comes as real estate in Johnston County continues to reach new heights. According to Triangle MLS, the median sales price in 2022 neared $365,000, an increase from just under $300,000 in 2021. Still, that figure was more than $100,000 less than the median sales price in Wake County.
"Being on the East Coast, it's great to get up to New York or down to Florida. As far as clients, we do see more from the adjacent states moving into the area. We have the move-ups, then we have people who are relocating here because of the job market from the larger local areas," said Michele Molinaro, a HomeTowne Real Estate Agent in Clayton.
Growth in populations and traffic
The population growth has benefitted businesses downtown, including Dylan's Unique Gifts & Catering.
"I can only contribute that to more people that are in the downtown area, more people that are experiencing what Clayton has to offer," said owner Erin Belcher, while sharing a strong holiday season that has carried over into January.
She moved from Chicago a decade ago and has noticed an uptick in traffic around the store.
"Just Novo Nordisk, Grifols, those are two of the most major pharmaceutical companies in the United States if not the entire world, then you're talking about the bookends with Amazon - you have one in Smithfield and one in Garner," Belcher noted.
Belcher told ABC11 that she is considering relocating to Flowers Plantation, pointing to recent and planned builds.
"We have over 700 apartments coming up in the next 12-14 months, Ardmore and The Views. Townhomes in this northeast quadrant, we have 315 townhomes being built," Stephenson said.
Two commercial developments are anchored by a Publix and Harris Teeter, respectively
"In the planning for the commercial, we knew (about) 7,800 homes, it's going to bring a lot of residents. You need shopping, you need grocery stores, you need healthcare, you need dental care, and so all of that was in the plan. And then with our broker firm for commercial, York Properties, they were able to secure the medical - UNC Medical is here, the Heartland Dental building is here, so more of that will probably come as we continue to increase," said Stephenson.
Stephenson said that many of their tenants are from out of state, with Molinaro pointing to shifts in work patterns serving Johnston County well.
"We've seen that shift and that's something that's different. Johnston County actually offers more land and people are looking for larger homes with more offices," Molinaro said.
When complete it will be one of the largest master-planned communities in the area.
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