MontCo Just Keeps Growing!
In this year's census, Montgomery County is on the way to edging out the population numbers in Roanoke City and County, thanks to a strong local economy, community quality of living upgrades, and growing student population at Virginia Tech. According to demographics information, "In 2017, Montgomery County, VA had a population of 97.7k people with a median age of 28.2 and a median household income of $53,424." The county already outpaces both Roanoke City and County in terms of economic growth and the median household income will catch up to the front runner, Roanoke County, soon. The number of people and median household income are expected to keep growing.
JOBS KEEP COMING IN
Before Covid struck, most of the southwestern region was already in a jobs slump. But Montgomery County is developing local talent and bringing in new businesses, a trend likely to pick back up in earnest next year. A local business creating autonomous vehicle tech, Torc has announced that they'll be looking for around 300 more employees in the near feature. Block 1, an international company that uses blockchain development for secure solutions, will be expanding their Blacksburg branch by 800-1000 new employees soon. And 1901 Group, the cloud solutions company will be looking for around 500 new faces to help grow their business. All of this growth on top of the thousands of new students VT President Dr. Sands has promised over the next few years and the faculty that will be brought in to teach them.
STANDARD OF LIVING IS HIGHER
One of the things that attracts businesses to the area is the quality of living in the area. The county government working with the towns have made areas like community development and recreation a priority. Christiansburg has paid for the planning of a proposed park on the 63 acres off of Peppers Ferry Road that they purchased for $2.5 million. The conceptual plan for the park includes two phases. The first will be ball fields with concessions, connectors to the Huckleberry Trail, and a dog park. The Town Council can vote later to complete the second phase of the park with more amenities for a total cost of around $18 million.
It's not just the Town of Christiansburg that's creating a community spirit. The Midtown Development in Blacksburg will have a new police station and plaza near the shops to encourage more outdoor living and community gatherings.
And another development in Blacksburg, the 6 story Virginia Tech Foundation building at the old Buffalo Wild Wings may be connected to a public green space at the historic Odd Fellows Hall to be used for outdoor recreation and community events.
While the county is growing - especially in the burgs, the housing market is turning into a midrange buyer's nightmare. The county board and town councils aren't ignoring it. They're approving developments to try to ease the burden of long commutes from other places and lack of homes for the number of people who want to live in the area. The Midtown development will start with 75 units in the first phase of building but is slated to grow into a neighborhood of townhouses and apartments. There's also The Standard development at 1101 N Main St (near the YMCA) with more multifamily housing.
And not to be left behind, the Christiansburg Town Council has started putting in town water and sewer for an upscale housing development in the old Meadows Golf Course. The most recent plans include 13 patio homes with shared walls and 20 single family homes with expansive views - in the $500k-$600k range, but the golf course and pool will be officially gone forever.
SO HERE WE ARE
Montgomery County is making a great showing on the leader board in terms of growth in the western side of the state and with these changes comes some tough choices. The County Board of Supervisors and Burg Town Councils are all trying to juggle competing priorities to keep everyone safe and properous and all of the things we love most about living here.
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