Village hopes billboard catches developers' eyes
The village has more than 1,200 acres ready for business development.
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LORDSTOWN -- Village officials think Lordstown is a perfect place for new business and they are willing to put it in print.
A new sign along the Ohio Turnpike, not far from the Lordstown exit, proclaims industrial and commercial sites are available in the village that is home to the massive General Motors complex.
"We wanted it so that people driving up and down the turnpike would see it with no problems," said Ron Barnhart, zoning and planning administrator.
The sign, which lists the village's Web site -- www.Lordstown.com -- also has a banner hanging underneath which reads "Home of GM Lordstown Complex, The Proud Home of the Next Generation of GM Small Cars."
An old idea
Barnhart said a big part of his job is marketing the village to new business. He said he first approached council about the sign more than two years ago and went so far as to get pricing and interested companies to create it, but was turned down.
"Then about a year ago, council came to me and asked, 'What can we do to market the village?' and I suggested the sign again," he said.
Created by Jenkins Signs of Youngstown at a cost of $13,800, the sign took about two months to build. It and recent news reports about General Motors' decision to keep the local plants operational, should help bring business into the village's five industrial parks, Barnhart said.
Already, he has sent out six incentive packages to "solid leads."
"We can handle more than just automotive businesses," he said.
There are 900 acres zoned industrial and 300 acres zoned commercial available for development, Barnhart said.
"And that is virgin property, never developed before," he said.
He also noted the village is ready for business to move in, since water and sewer lines are already available on almost 90 percent of that land.
"Everything is ready to go," he said.