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The beginning of a golden age
July 30, 2008 - Jody Murphy
Mark your calender folks.
Five years from now Parkersburg - and even Wood County - won't be same city it is today. And that's a good thing.
Local leaders, including Mayor Bob Newell and his staff, the City Council, the Wood County Development Authority and the Wood County Commission, have done a tremendous job meshing luck and opportunity into success.
Come back five years from now and you will be amazed at the city's growth.
The downtown will be a thriving center with a Riverfront Park, a Farmers Market, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Headquarters, a downtown WVUP Business School* and a host of other, smaller businesses - like cafes and coffeehouses.
Up at Fort Boreman expect to see a 5,000-seat civic center/National Guard Armory and a professional (Frontier League?) baseball stadium. In addition to an entertainment complex, Boreman will likely also contain a thriving shopping district.
I know, I know, we'll have all this stuff, but where are the people coming from? Where's the workforce to justify it all?
Well, in addition to Public Debt, there's Hino.
The Japanese truck manufactoring company is a sleeping giant in North America. When its hybrid engine, high mileage trucks gain steam in the U.S. Williamstown's plant is going to expand - the likes of which haven't been seen in this area since DuPont landed here in the 1950s.
Wood County's Hino plant is in the right place at the almost the right time to become THE epicenter of production for North America. With Hino's expansion - and Hino will continue to expand - more automotive related businesses will come.
The next five years are going to be tremendous for the growth of the city, the county and the area. We're going to be here to see it.
* Regarding the WVUP downtown business school.
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