WILSON, N.C. — The Wilson City Council agreed unanimously Thursday night to offer a development incentive for a new retail center. The center would include a Target store.
The city and county agreed to reimburse the developer a total of up to $2.5 million that would come from new taxes generated by the shopping center. The reimbursement covers the cost of utilities and infrastructure.
Supporters point to a major financial boost for Wilson County, but opponents said it could drive them out of business.
"Every time a big company wants to come, they're taking away from the little people," business owner Rebecca McDonald said.
Robin Hauser, the business development manager for the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, said the store would hit the spot for the local economy.
"Everyday you go to a city next to Wilson -- Greenville, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount -- and you see Wilson people spending their money there," Hauser said.
The proposed site for the retail center is at the intersection of Raleigh Road and Airport Boulevard. Hauser said it would bring up to 1,000 jobs to Wilson County.
The owners of Parkwood Mall and nearby Westwood Shopping Center argue it gives their future competition an unfair advantage and puts them at a disadvantage. Supporters see it another way.
"It's our opinion that everyone stands to gain because if you keep people in Wilson to spend their money. They're going to spend all over Wilson," Hauser said.