On Wednesday, January 31, King George County Economic Development Director Ryan Gandy addressed a packed house of Realtors and affiliates at the brand new Holiday Inn Express at Dahlgren.  He discussed opportunities and challenges the County is facing and invited the group to contribute to the dialogue about how the County is growing and what is missing.

He readily understands the importance of broadband access for today’s consumer.  The County has received a $30,000 grant to create a solicitation for internet service providers to bring expanded broadband service to more areas in the County.  As many Realtors explained, it is no longer just a luxury but a basic infrastructure requirement for many people looking to move to the County.

Ryan also touched on new businesses coming to the County with the focus of most of that being retail services to serve the resident and commuter population.  While he agrees that more sit down establishments would be great, the demographics and density of the County don’t always make sense for businesses.  He stated that if he talks to 40 businesses in a year and one actually locates to the County, that’s considered a victory.  The economic development process is slow and many factors go into whether a business will locate operations in a specific area.

He also mentioned that there is some expanded residential development coming to the County but that multifamily apartments and townhouses are still not the primary focus of that development.  The County will soon be working on a mixed use ordinance to open up more opportunities for developers to achieve higher densities but he said it’s important that elected officials hear from citizens who want that kind of denser development that can house individuals and families looking for lower cost housing options.

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