We all know that West Chester Township has developed into an amazing community over the years with a well-balanced approach to residential and commercial developments. The list of successes, awards and achievements are almost too many to mention, but I will mention one award that nobody ever talks about – it’s the Governor’s Cup Growth Awards.
Each year, industry standard-bearer Site Selection Magazine issues the Governor’s Cup Award to Top States in the nation based on new or expanded facilities over a 12-month period. Ohio and Greater Cincinnati consistently earns high marks in the national rankings, which measure economic development growth in relation to a region’s ability to attract new projects and new employees to their communities.
To be eligible and qualify for the Growth Awards, a project must meet one of the following requirements:
• create at least 50 new jobs;
• lease or purchase 20,000+ square feet of space; or
• make an investment of at least $1 million.
West Chester Township has consistently been a major contributor of significant commercial growth and development projects aiding in the state’s efforts to obtain dominance in achieving this annual economic development national recognition. (Source: WC Community Development Department).
As can be seen in Table 1 below, West Chester has had qualifying projects every year since 2008!
I don’t know how long the Governor’s Cup Award has been around, but if it goes back to FY 2000 then we should have gotten it those years too!
Table 2 shows the amazing commercial development investments made in West Chester before the ‘Great Recession’. The numbers are staggering!
For me, the next logical question is “Are the glory years of commercial development over in West Chester?” I think the answer is “No”!
The reason is West Chester is a proven destination for corporate investment displayed by the expansive growth over the past two decades, yet development opportunities still exist throughout the township with commercial sites from 1 to 60 acres still available – all with accessible infrastructure, frontage on I-75, or access to an interstate interchange within two miles. (Source: West Chester Township Planner, 2021; figure does not take into account potential for future zone changes)
The map below shows that West Chester still has 15.32% of COMMERCIAL LAND still available for commercial development!
I think it’s safe to say that West Chester still has a lot of development in the pipeline that will add to our tax base for the next two decades.
I for one am glad that past Trustees created a Comprehensive Land Use Plan that dedicated 40% of our 35 square mile area for Commercial/Industrial development. This 60/40 Residential/Commercial designation strikes a great balance for property value taxation that helps to keep residential property taxes relatively low because the Commercial/Industrial districts pay their property taxes without huge demands on Lakota Schools and township services.