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article imageSmall and mid-sized U.S. cities work on revitalization projects

By Tim Sandle     Dec 23, 2020 in Business
The coronavirus pandemic has cut through the U.S. economy with devastating impact. However, some cities are embarking on planning in order to revitalize their local economies.
The days of FDR and a planned economy appeared to have embedded away in the past few decades, in the wake of Reagan and the belief in the infallibility of the free market. However, there are examples of U.S. cities that are introducing an element of the planned economy in order to build the basis for local economic recoveries, ready for the post-COVID era.
One example is in Lockhart, Texas. This was once a cowboy town along the Chisholm Trail, has transformed into more than the BBQ Capital of Texas, a music haven and movie set. On December 2, 2020 Lockhart (population: 13,458) announced that it’s moving forward with a new 75-acre industrial park to keep up with demand for site-ready facilities as innovative companies look to Lockhart for expansions and relocations. Lockhart is home to Visionary Fiber Technologies and Fashion Glass & Mirror. On November 17, 2020 San Marcos, TX broke ground on a $10 million, 175,000-square-foot speculative industrial space.
Taking a second example: Marysville, OH in Union County, which is home to Honda, Honda R&D, Nestle, Scotts Miracle-Gro and Parker Hannifin, broke ground on November 18, 2020 on a speculative development at 1100 Innovation Way. The development will comprise of 84,000 square feet of multi-tenant Class A industrial and R&D speculative space, filling a need in Ohio’s speculative space inventory as major manufacturers, research companies and other key industries are choosing Marysville for strategic business expansions and relocations.
With a third and final example there is Fort Wayne (population: 270,000), which is undergoing a major revitalization with more than $200 million in downtown development investments. A $440 million project is set to transform an abandoned General Electric Campus into a 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-used innovation district, Electric Works, which will include a public market and food hall, offices, health care and education.
The downtown initiative includes: The Landing, turning a historic block into an art district with more than 56,000-square-feet of commercial, retail space, restaurant and living space; Promenade Park, a $20 million riverfront development plan to help the city’s rivers become year-round destinations; and The Bradley, a boutique hotel by Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, set to open in April 2021.
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