Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Are We There Yet?
In the spring of 2010 it was official that we had made it through the financial debacle that was called the Great Recession, and in 2012 we can finally begin to take a well deserved deep breath.
Growth took a while to filter down to rural America, but despite the fact there are still wrinkles to iron out in the economy, industry is coming out of their bomb shelters, and beginning to rebuild. We are finally seeing some of that rebuilding here in Sturbridge.
And, it's about time.
In the last few weeks it has been announced that a 1200 seat movie theater has been approved, and will be built in the former Linen 'n Things building at Hobbs Brook Plaza. Corporations do not invest in new projects when the outlook is uncertain. This is one more sign that our future is bright.
The former Basketville building has been purchased by two local dentists, and not only will their practices be located in the building, but other retail space will be rented out within the building as well as the out building. A restaurant is also planned for the lower level. The new owners have enough faith in where the area is headed to invest their future in it.
The old Hebert Candy building at the corner of Haynes Street (old Route 15), and River Street has also been purchased by a local bio optical company that will locate offices, and labs in the building. Other buildings on the site will be leased to other businesses. The company needed space to grow.
Yes, they need space to grow.
Jobless rates are lower than one year ago, but until they are fully restored to pre-recession levels, we won't be fully "recovered". With these new purchases, and projects, happening here in town, we are that much closer to being in that place again.
With all the dark economic news we all have endured since late 2006, it does a person good to hear this bit of great news for the area.
Yes, it is about time.