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Consider This: Ridgeland Growth

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week we reported on the tremendous commercial growth happening in Ridgeland.

Over the past year, 140 businesses have opened in the city and another 15 to 20 are scheduled to open in the coming months. That growth hasn’t taken place by happenstance.

Ridgeland leaders have done a great job with planning, zoning and economic recruitment.

We also know Ridgeland has benefited from the exodus of businesses and people fleeing the City of Jackson and its horrific crime and crumbling infrastructure.

But that’s only a small factor of what is contributing to the growth in Ridgeland. The main factor is the city is family friendly.

Ridgeland has a low crime rate and good schools. It offers cycling, walking and running trails that crisscross throughout the community. There are tons of activities at Freedom Ridge Park and it’s constantly filled with families participating in youth sports programs.

So much so, the city is planning a significant expansion of the park, creating a sports complex similar to the LakePoint Sports facilities in Georgia.

That will allow more events, larger tournaments and will ultimately grow the economy by tapping into the lucrative sports tourism market.

With all the improvements and planned development, there are still areas that reflect the days of lax zoning and regulation.

However, as those properties are repurposed, the new guidelines take effect.

There is a strategic long-term plan for the entire City of Ridgeland and if leaders follow that strategy, the city will continue to see more people and businesses locate there.

As other communities develop plans for the future, they should look to Ridgeland as a model for the right way to create and implement that long-term vision.

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