Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Loudoun Chamber of Commerce meets Dulles South

A small crowd of Leesburg business pioneers headed southeast today to visit us here in Dulles South, at Moore's Cadillac on Rt. 50 (near South Riding). There, the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce adventurers got a good overview of the state of affairs in this bleak corner of the County - through the words and wisdom of Dulles South denizen Bill Dean (CEO of M.C. Dean) and the Dulles District School Board Administrator, Robert Dupree.

Turns out, this part of the County is actually the fastest-growing, is likely to generate the lion's share of retail consumerism for the foreseeable future, is connected and involved with the region's economic engine at Dulles Airport, and is at the forefront of collaboration with Fairfax County to the east regarding transportation improvements (incoming Rail, Rts. 50, 606 and 28).

While the population growth has slowed a bit, the school-age population continues to relentlessly expand - leading to dire overcrowding situations not good for residents or businesses - and compounded recently by failures of the Loudoun BOS to deliver practical solutions. Also relentlessly expanding is the amount of traffic on the roads - which has been over many years addressed by the Dulles South Business Alliance (represented by Bill Dean). It turns out there's very good progress being achieved at least in the planning stages - much contracting, construction and other progress is definitely slowing as the economy continues to degrade. Even the largest retail projects, such as that planned for Dulles Landing (across from South Riding, with a WalMart), are significantly delayed; projections are now to get started building sometime in the Spring with openings a year later.

Overall, the message to investors and business owners we inferred was that while the Dulles South area continues its growth as a regional powerhouse in terms of consumers and employee prospects, the lack of overall services to citizens (including likely loss of the Rt. 50 hospital to the Broadlands), delays in critical infrastructure and new retail projects, and lack of growth-oriented support from the Board of Supervisors will significantly curtail land and business investment values for years to come.

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