Sam Harris and others

Calvin Harris, BJ Harris, Sam Harris III, Christin Harris and Jensen Harris visited downtown Selma Saturday morning where the property they bought is located.

It was an Opportunity Zone that drew Sam Harris III to Selma, but the Tampa developer says his ultimate goal is to create an Innovation Zone.

Harris said he never envisioned coming to Selma until he attended a meeting in Miami about Opportunity Zones opening up in the Queen City. Opportunity Zones give investors federal tax incentives to invest in underdeveloped areas like Selma’s downtown.

After touring and meeting citizens in Selma, Harris said he and his partner were astounded at Selma’s beauty, history and potential. Harris’ company, Samjen Residential & Commercial Realty, purchased the Tepper’s Building at 25 Broad St. and the Melvin Heinz Building at 1006 Alabama Ave. Harris’ intent is to begin with a commercial mix-use space, a co-working space and café as the initial venture into downtown Selma.

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