Economic developers eye Wakulla County opportunities
WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) – Economic developers say they are happy to see more lanes being built for the Crawfordville Freeway. As more and more people move into Wakulla County, more space is needed on US 319 between Crawfordville and Tallahassee for all the traffic.
“We have a lot of people going back and forth from Tallahassee as well as a lot of people coming in from Tallahassee and Georgia,” said Wakulla County Administrator Dave Edwards. “We are continually looking ahead and planning ahead to ensure we can keep up with our projected growth.”
As crews work to widen the road, Edwards and other county leaders envision new challenges on the economic horizon.
“We care about the national economy. We are certainly concerned about inflation and the impending recession. We are looking at ways to mitigate that,” Edwards added.
Despite the threat of an economic downturn, he said new businesses like this Publix in Crawfordville and surrounding medical practices are only a small part of improving the quality of life for people moving in. here. Up to 500 new homes a year are built across the county to make room for potential new growth.
“We are under certain non-disclosure agreements, but hopefully this time next year we will innovate something big here,” shared Richard Exline. He is Vice Chairman of NG Wade Investment Company. He said he was working with the county to develop more than 240 acres of land at Opportunity Park. “It’s located in an opportunity zone, which offers incentives. In addition, we already have all the infrastructure in place, fiber roads, water and sewers.
CSG Systems International has already established itself there. They specialize in revenue management and payment solutions for businesses. Freeway access is good for their business.
Exline said the new $28 million international processing facility underway at Tallahassee International Airport should entice even more businesses to consider moving here. “I think the ideal user would be a high-tech manufacturer.”
Leaders said they hope the expansion of the county road will help push forward new projects like this.
“It’s just getting started, and we’re excited about it,” Edwards concluded.