Railroads are an essential part of the transportation system, enabling a cost-effective movement of goods and people to various destinations. Restoring passenger rail services in Pender and Duplin Counties will substantially impact the local and regional economies. Duplin and Pender County have the potential to be one of the hottest real estate markets in South Eastern North Carolina.
The latest Amtrak proposal shows a passenger rail service route connecting Wallace, Burgaw, and Wilmington with Raleigh, Greensboro, and eventually Asheville, providing people across the state with an alternative option for intrastate travel to the coast. Currently, Amtrak passenger services operate in Raleigh and other larger cities in the state but leave most of Eastern North Carolina out. Last year President Biden released his American Jobs Plan that included plans for infrastructure investment and $80 billion designated for rail. Working with the state, the cities of Wallace, Burgaw, and Wilmington have all invested considerably in the preservation of the vacant passenger rail stations and track right-of-ways left behind from the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. This preservation was in anticipation that passenger rail service would be restored to the cities one day. The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad was once the longest stretch of railroad in the world.
Future Properties Near Passenger Rail Stations Will be a Gold Mine.
Reestablishing the passenger rail service with stops in Wallace, Burgaw, and Wilmington will dramatically increase the value of Pender and Duplin's commercial and residential real estate. Restoring this passenger rail service will contribute maximally to the general growth and prosperity of the region. Studies have proven over the past years that millennials and Generation Zs have made somewhat fewer automobile trips (-4%) and have traveled considerably fewer miles in an automobile (-18%) than was the case for previous generations at the same stage in their lives. Car ownership in our nation continues to decline as the popularity of rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber continues to thrive and vehicle cost rises. Accessibility to convenient, low cost and safe transportation versus car ownership is perhaps the most prominent financial incentive for not owning a car.
The access to passenger rail service in Pender and Duplin counties will serve as an alternative to driving from these suburban communities to the city center of Wilmington. In most significant areas of the country, transit agencies have already extended their passenger rail service to areas further out from the city centers to less urbanized communities. With passenger rail service restored in Wallace and Burgaw, the site will become a critical suburban residential and business hub. Reestablishing passenger rail service to the region provides numerous opportunities for real estate investment. Large companies and industries typically chose to locate near passenger rail corridors to draw on a more regional labor market. Passenger rail in Burgaw, Wallace, and Wilmington will increase mobility, transportation options, and access to employment and essential services for individuals who live in the service area.
Location, Location, Location! The 3 Magic Words when it comes to Real Estate.
In the Wilmington area, where the commute cost is high, traffic is horrendous, gas is expensive, and time is of the essence, passenger rail will provide an easy transportation alternative. Burgaw and Wallace rail stations will reduce commuting costs to Wilmington in terms of time and money and offer convenience. The proximity of commuter rail stations in Burgaw and Wallace could increase the value of the area's commercial and residential real estate market by as much as 40%.
Within this insight, we find that proximity to passenger rail stations in the Wilmington Metro area, more specifically in Burgaw and Wallace, will increase the value of the nearby real estate and attract industries. Additionally, the closer the real estate is to the rail station, the higher the real estate value.
"The proximity of commuter rail stations in Burgaw and Wallace could increase the value of the commercial and residential real estate market in the area by as much as 40%." – Matthew R. Walker