Story by Kayla Fugate
If you have been out and about in Bowling Green lately, you have definitely noticed that Bowling Green is growing and building. According to a report in 2017 by 24/7 Wall St., a financial news website, Bowling Green is the fastest-growing city in Kentucky as measured by five-year population growth as well as growth in jobs. Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce points out “Bowling Green serves as the center of business, education, industry and health care for approximately 10 counties in South Central Kentucky.”
“We’ve seen a lot of growth in our community in the last four to five years, and the start of 2018 appears to be on track for another great year,” says Brandy Zackery, Project Manager for Arnold Consulting Engineering Services, Inc.
Whether it’s industry, small business, or residential, Bowling Green is building it. “In my opinion, the great thing about the development we are seeing currently, is that it addresses all aspects of life,” says Zackery. “The industrial parks continue to grow with new businesses coming to the area and existing businesses expanding.”
According to the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, it announced sixteen projects for 2017 bringing total capital investment to $270.4 million. With this new growth and expansion comes more jobs for the area- around 800 last year. As the jobs bring people to the area, many stay and invest in the area.
In February, the Chamber of Commerce announced that The Pink Lily Boutique plans to double the footprint of their state-of-the-art fulfillment center to more than 50,000 square feet of office and industrial space. This project is a $2.05 million investment that will create up to 56 new jobs over the next five years.
Charlotte Napier, a local Bowling Green realtor, is a Bowling Green native who has moved and come back to the area time after time. “The Bowling Green community is very special,” she says. She says the community is an excellent place to raise a family, and she loves to share with clients who are new to the area how their specific families can connect in the community.
Many companies have recently announced either expansions to current facilities or new facilities in the area. One example is Pan-Oston which announced its 60,000 square foot Bowling Green expansion in June at the Kentucky Transpark, turning it into a warehouse and distribution center that was needed to keep pace with the company’s growth. Another company recently announcing expansion in Bowling Green is Southern Recycling who plan to invest $6 million to construct a new, 45-acre facility which includes installation of state-of-the art scrap processing equipment.
Downtown Bowling Green is also currently seeing a major revitalization. The Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) was formed by local merchants who focused on the needs of downtown Bowling Green. According to its website, the DRA raised over $60,000 to revitalize Historic Fountain Square Park and to bring downtown Bowling Green back to its formal glory. Their efforts are working. As the area grows, so do their efforts.
From the Bowling Green Ballpark to the recently renovated and shiny fountain to several small local businesses, downtown Bowling Green is finding new life. Additional apartments are also underway in the downtown area. “Businesses have already started to move back downtown and residential will quickly follow,” says Jonathan Bryant, a realtor with Keller Williams. “Over the next five years, I see 250 new living units being available downtown. That alone will change downtown forever,” he says.
Downtown is not the only area expanding. Driving down Lover’s Lane was completely different just a couple of years ago as the area continues to be developed. The development known as “The Hub” is quickly underway there. Developer Dave Chandler is overseeing the $200 million, 103-acre project which will include a hotel, multi-family housing, a bank, a medical facility, and a restaurant.
To accommodate the increase of students moving into the school district, construction for a new Warren County elementary school is also currently underway. The school is adjacent to Henry F. Moss Middle School and is hoped to relieve the overflowing population of students at Lost River and Warren Elementary schools.
Wherever you happen to be in Bowling Green, you will likely see growth. Bowling Green’s expansion is, no doubt, well underway with no end in sight.