The Allied News recently published an article that some may find pretty exciting… Springfield Township is planning ahead! These plans could play a huge role in the area’s future. The township, the borough and downtown Grove City could benefit hugely from the discussions that are finally happening.
The Allied News article states that the township is working with “supervisors on a land use marketing study for 208.” Now that Springfield has finally joined the sewage project in Grove City, development around the outlets could potentially explode. The township supervisors are trying to plan now, so that future growth is both appropriate and beneficial to the entire community. According to the Allied, “The planning commission has land-use tools they could use to enforce certain types of developments in certain areas of the township.” This could mean “light manufacturing, professional services, healthcare and transportation,” to name a few. While the outlet mall has created plenty of jobs for the region, it hasn’t necessarily created many high-paying family sustaining jobs. The township now has the ability to use the success of the outlets to entice these higher paying businesses. Unfortunately, making a plan doesn’t guarantee that these businesses will come, but it’s a great step in making Springfield Township not just a tourist attraction, but a true economic center for the region.
For many businesses, having an office in Grove City probably wouldn’t seem to make sense at first, as it may be better to have offices in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Erie, or even Youngstown. However, with our location at the intersection of Interstates 79 and 80, that puts us in a prime location for an office where you could easily schedule a lunch meeting in Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Within 100 miles of Grove City is more than 7.5 million people. Within 100 miles of Pittsburgh? 5.8 million. There’s something to be said for that.
What is also exciting about the Allied News article is that transportation companies are looking at Springfield. Something that could be key to bringing high-paying businesses is better public transportation. 6.5 million people already come to the area for shopping, and that includes thousands of tour buses. A single transportation facility beside the mall could not only help facilitate the existing tourbus industry, but also bring in companies such as MegaBus, Greyhound and others. We’re nearly halfway between Chicago and New York, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Erie and Pittsburgh (Throw in Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit and countless other bus routes that already go through Grove City). The mall could be a perfect layover for buses, but also a great park-and-ride location for a region with little public transportation. Several daily buses between this facility and cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland would further entice businesses to locate in Springfield Township. This facility would also be a great home base for localized public transportation. A bus or trolley making the rounds between the outlet, hotels, and downtown Grove City would allow for the tourist dollars to better make its way to local businesses. Anyone who took a tourbus to area hotels could jump on a small bus to downtown Grove City, and know that it will be back every hour on the hour to pick them up. That could add hundreds of shoppers a week to downtown Grove City without adding to traffic or parking.
The Allied News article said the township is considering everything from something like an Amazon warehouse, to a business park on the Grove City side of I-79. General Electric subcontractors may also find it feasible to bring their factories and offices to the area. While none of this may come to fruition, the fact that they’re at least thinking about the the future is a huge step in the right direction. Few areas of our size have the potential that we have, and it would be a shame to waste it.
*Other things to note in the article: The Township is working on a multi-modal trail to connect businesses along 208 (currently, people staying at hotels have to risk their lives to walk to the outlets). Penn-Northwest Development Corp said Field and Stream has shown interested in the township, adding that there is a large pond nearby that customers could test products like canoes and kayaks. Also suggested was an enclosed farm market that could be held on a different day than Grove City’s. Read the entire article here: