The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Monday, March 13, 2017

Chamber leader: College towns poised for growth

[Editor's note: This article shows 'academic theory' that may not relate well to reality in towns like Salisbury and Princess Anne. Look at what it says though, then think about 'Downtown Revitalization', parking lot giveaways, and student housing possibilities.]

I want to start off by asking what do the following cities have in common: Manhattan, Kansas; Stillwater, Okla.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Charlottesville, Va.? Each of these recently were recognized among a list of the top 50 U.S. cities to live, work and play.

You also might have observed that each of these cities has a major university presence located in their town. This is a common theme and trend when we try and understand where the greatest growth in population is going to occur in the next 10 years.

When I attended a conference on quality of life initiatives that cities are implementing, a national site selector spoke and mentioned that towns with a college presence will see the greatest growth, especially those whose colleges are doing research and development and then launching that research into new start-up businesses or entrepreneurial ventures. The site selector went to emphasize that the cities with the largest proportional growth over the next 10 years will be those that have, and highlight, a university/college presence.

Universities all across America have figured out they are a major factor in economic development. They also know they will drive many of those key and instrumental quality of life factors that will drive growth in students, professors and talent recruitment to an area. Major institutions of higher learning also have realized it is vital to work alongside the local towns and municipalities to achieve a thriving, energetic, vibrant and robust economic structure.

Universities and colleges are perhaps one of the most critical components to a region that has a bustling downtown filled with restaurants, shops, brew pubs, cool retail, bike lanes, jogging paths and a pedestrian friendly environment. In other words, basically, the playground of today’s young professional and millennial generation.

More here


Anonymous said...

Joe, the 411 provided is ABSOLUTELY true (now wait for it)....IF you have sound thinking individual with a strategic plan for development. Not kids running the asylum, or law enforcement officials with personal agenda's.

Locally speaking:
- Blacksburg VA (home of VA TECH) has benefited from the GOBS of revenue generated by the school.

- Radford VA (20 minutes away from VA TECH and home of Radford U) has benefited from VA TECH as well as several wealthy alums would attended Radford. Not to mention past school President Donald Dedmon was the same Donald Dedmon who helped resurrect Marshall University (the movie We Are Marshall).

- UMD (Terrapins) easy, basketball and football teams of the past - AS WELL AS UnderArmour President and UMD Alum Kevin Plank.

- UVA (Cavaliers) - can't say their recent athletics has helped, but the rich US history in Charlottesville VA - alum $$$$$$$$$

When school is OUT, these towns are dead, just like Stillwater, Ann Arbor, etc. School is IN - CASH COW.

Except here in d'bury. Good grief!

Anonymous said...


WTF -- da bury's slumlords have become rich from the SU kiddies' parents.