A wish list for 2018 and more
Some like it, some don’t.
It all depends on whether it’s good or bad.
We certainly do not have a crystal ball to foresee what will come to our region in 2018.
Sure, there are things we know about, but it also doesn’t hurt to speculate.
If you’ve already read our stories on Page A1, you know there is a lot of investment planned here in 2018.
Will that investment mean more individuals and families moving here?
How will the closing of more schools in Keystone Central — if that’s what happens — impact this area’s appeal to families with school-age kids?
Time will tell.
So here are more questions we have as we head into the New Year.
Will a women’s clothing store finally locate here … perhaps in the vacant Kmart store?
Hey, the men have Harbor Freight at one end of the store in Millbrook Plaza, why can’t women have what they want?
A new CVS store opened Jan. 15, 2017 and transformed what was an ugly, blighted property in downtown Lock Haven.
Is anything in store for the Weis Market-owned property along Bellefonte Avenue diagonal to CVS?
It looks like that area will see new investment by way of a Geisinger urgent care center and/or medical clinic on Susquehanna Square behind the Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Doesn’t growth beget growth?
Meanwhile, Downtown Lock Haven has seen a slight upswing in storefront vacancies in the past year, partly due to a lack of business succession.
What more is in store for downtown Lock Haven?
While opportunity abounds, it’s unfortunate county government is moving upward of 70 employees out of the business district to what was a privately owned executive office next to the airport and one of the largest, private warehouse complexes in the county. It’s near-sighted and is more about what the county needs than what the community needs.
We’re always an advocate for downtowns. In this computer shopping age, most small downtowns struggle, yet all downtowns are a direct reflection of a community’s quality and pride … it’s drive to survive and be appealing to locals and visitors alike.
Will downtown get a new mural near its gateway? There is talk.
Will a new boat dock near the amphitheatre along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River at Jay and Water streets become a reality?
What more is in store across the river in Woodward Township?
Renovo is looking good, what with a new boat launch and parking area planned, vision for a river walk and more as work unfolds to build a natural-gas-fired power station there.
Watch for heavier traffic coming through Lock Haven by way of Jay Street to Water Street to Route 120 north.
Will the region see renewed drilling for natural gas in 2018?
Many companies still hold leases on state forestland to the north.
The Bald Eagle Outlets property just off Route 220 in Wayne Township, bought by UPMC Susquehanna for $5 million in 2017, is sure to be a magnet for new or expanding businesses with UPMC opening a busy physicians office and outpatient clinic there.
Already we’re seeing new investment near that interchange.
What more is coming?
We know the Wayne Township Landfill will expand its disposal area starting next year, and invest in new equipment.
More regionally, will either Lycoming or Nittany Valley Malls see a mini-casino?
Bellefonte is seeing growth and it has significant prospects for more, what with a business incubator, a number of new businesses opening and development plans along Spring Creek.
Not far away, have you seen the clearing taking place at and near the interchange of Interstates 80 and 99 east of Bellefonte?
A new, high-speed interchange there is close to being funded.
And then there are those who don’t want to see much new development here, preferring — in Lock Haven and Clinton County at least — that it stay rural and uncrowded.
You can help decide.
Happy New Year!