Building a future for Selma

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 23, 2003

From apartments on Marie Foster Street to a shopping plaza near Wal-Mart to the Park Place development off Medical Center Parkway &045; Selma is experiencing a mini-construction boom.

It’s easy to notice while driving through town. Cranes rattle by the new Dunn Nursing Home facility on Park Place during the day. Tall steel rods stick into the air at a soon-to-be convenience store on Citizens Parkway.

Selma is growing, and no one could be happier than Mayor James Perkins Jr.

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Perkins listed just a few of the new buildings in town &045; the Wal-Mart plaza, the Hampton Inn and a development initiated by local developer Harold Speir, which is just south of Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

Perkins said that if financial institutions want to build in a community, it’s a good indication of growth. AmSouth Bank just recently built a new branch office at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Broad Street.

Council President George Evans agreed. &uot;It looks like everywhere I turn, there’s construction going on,&uot; he said.

So much construction is occurring that Evans said he didn’t know what businesses would occupy which buildings. &uot;It’s really a plus,&uot; he said. &uot;It shows the potential that we’re doing well.&uot; According to Darryl Moore, Selma’s building inspector, 518 construction permits were sold last fiscal year. Contractors and individuals purchase permits for a number of reasons, including general repair on a building, remodeling, painting and new construction.

One company that purchased a construction license was Milan & Company, which is building the new convenience store on Citizens Parkway. Moore estimated construction costs at $800,000. The store is expected to open early next year. Olympia Construction Company heads the construction for the 48-unit apartment complex on Marie Foster Street. The project costs $2,357,000. A new doctor’s office off Medical Center Parkway built by Tom Lee Construction costs $613,000. In the future, Moore plans to compile a list of people licensed to do construction in the city. The list will be available to everyone and is expected to be ready by March. According to Claire Twardy, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, the chamber maintains a list of contractors who are also chamber members.

Twardy noted that the chamber does not compile any information on all developing businesses in the city and county, but only on those that were chamber members.