From farmland to metropolis: the growth of West Chester, Liberty twps.

For this week’s chamber of commerce feature, we talked to Joe Hinson, president and chief executive officer of West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance about the “I-75 Growth Corridor.”

If the construction cranes towering over both sides of Ohio 129 entering Butler County are any indication, the next wave of development in this hot spot between Cincinnati and Dayton has arrived.

Once-in-a-lifetime projects include the mega shopping and office complex Liberty Center and a proton therapy center being built at Cincinnati Children's Liberty Campus for cancer treatment.

Q: What makes this region the growth corridor?

A: "This area is defined by I-75 and one of the heaviest traveled interstates in the country. Now we're in what we call the 'I-75 Growth Corridor' — 25 miles of interstate between I-275 going north up to 675."

“This is an area of growth and development. It’s new. It’s not tearing down and rebuilding. It’s basically predicting and creating our future here.”

“… West Chester with its emerging downtown, now with Liberty with a downtown and Liberty Center leading the way and the expansion of Children’s hospital, is developing two townships together that are becoming the focal point of bringing both Cincinnati and Dayton together. And as this continues to develop and grow, the drive for new development is growing north up to 675 and is becoming a connector to the Dayton market.”

2. Can you talk about the growth that we’re seeing in this area?

A: "Eight projects that we have seen being developed in 2014 are going to be opening in 2015. Most noticeably, you're going to see three hotels that will be opening here… You're going to see Butler Tech opening its bioscience training facility."

“As you continue up the corridor, you’re going to see Children’s Hospital’s expansion with a fourth floor… and a proton therapy center.”

“Also Liberty Center will be opening up in October, which will open up 64 acres of mixed use development.”

Q: Can you talk about what makes the Interstate 75 corridor a destination location?

A: "West Chester and Liberty townships have quickly become a destination location because of what we've seen in the Liberty Center that's going to be opening up, the expansion of Children's Hospital, Butler Tech's bioscience training facility, additional hotels and the reason being, is you have Indianapolis, Louisville, Lexington and Columbus less than two hours' drive time to this area."

“What happens is businesses come here that will take care of the need locally, but also will have the opportunity of more than doubling the population outreach to some of these other key areas.”

“We’ve become a small area of farmland now transitioning into a metropolis, if you will, with two central business districts and also now becoming a more regional draw for our entire area including additional states Indiana and Kentucky, as well as Ohio.”

Q: Can you talk about the future growth potential of the region?

A: "What we see now is a continuum of what West Chester Twp. started back when Union Centre Boulevard opened in 1997. But what we're seeing in Liberty Twp. is basically just the beginning."

“What you’re going to have is you’re going to have continuous growth in West Chester, a new growth and a new beginning in Liberty and the area between here and Austin Boulevard will fill in.”

“What we see is basically Cincinnati and Dayton coming together as one… and when we’re talking about as one, we’re talking about 3 million people.”

“As we continue to grow and develop I-75 specifically, the population growth will continue.”

“It’s projected that within the next 10 to 15 years, this will be a top 10 metro area within the U.S.”

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