a business park to town
Given the positive, almost consensus-like nature of Mondays commerce
park meeting, it is clear that now is the time to increase efforts to
get a park built in Yellow Springs. And given uncertainties in the local
economy, and concerns about the budgets of the Village and the school
district, business growth is needed. The construction of a commercial
development is a good way to facilitate that expansion.
The purpose of the Jan. 13 retreat, which was hosted by Community Resources,
a group that has actively been involved in local economic issues, was
not to debate the merits of building a commerce park in town. Most, if
not all of those at the meeting, support the idea. Instead, the focus
of the retreat was about the next steps and ways to make the park a reality.
Some of the messages from the retreat included:
Get control of a site to develop
Identify the type of businesses that we want to occupy the park,
and then go get them
Have a marketing strategy to lure businesses to town or sell a
developer on building a park here
The community will have to offer incentives or abatements to a
developer and the businesses that will occupy the facility
Counter perceptions that Yellow Springs is antibusiness
Dont overlook existing Yellow Springs businesses as potential
If a commerce park is built in town, it will likely be located on either
part of the Pitstick Farm on East Enon Road or on farmland owned by Vernay
Laboratories on the corner of East Enon and Dayton-Yellow Springs roads.
Both properties are included in a cooperative economic development agreement,
or CEDA, between Village Council and the Miami Township trustees. Approved
last year, the agreement signaled both boards commitment to business
growth. While the CEDA was a significant achievement, it does not contain
an actual project, nor does it say how a project would be constructed.
Now Yellow Springs must tackle a bigger challenge: bringing a project
to town. A good place to start is a position paper by Community Resources
and a proposal by Council president Tony Arnett. In its paper, Community
Resources called upon Council and the trustees to take concrete action
to get a commerce park built in town. Mr. Arnett proposed that the Village
instigate the development of business space by naming a specific building
location and creating incentives to support a project, instead of playing
a central role in the development.
Despite a few serious setbacks such as Vernay Laboratories
decision to close its local plants efforts have progressed on business
development issues over the last year. Its important to carry this
momentum forward in 2003.