It's not mentioned at all in today's story online at the Southern.com, but it's the city-wide TIF (tax increment financing) district that's behind the flurry of new business ventures targeting Johnston City.
And behind the TIF is a mayor and city council with their backs up against the wall. It's grow or die time. Although the city finances don't show it, the city's been on a roll for the last year or so with the passage of Home Rule, followed by the creation of a TIF district that pretty much encompasses the whole city.
2011 has been a tough year, but 2012 should be much better thanks to the businesses coming with their sales tax revenues.
Projects already announced include the Village Green Homes which is relocating from Marion to the former Roland Meadows Golf Course on the west side of the interstate, and Osprey Village, a new 16-unit assisted living facility.
In addition Mayor Jim Mitchell announced two new projects yesterday. First up is a couple who wants to transform the former Catholic grade school (and more recently, an alternative school) into an antique mall. The second is a proposed new Johnston City-based taxi service.
"We're getting calls. People see we're trying to get things moving," explained Mitchell.
None of these projects are strictly tourism, but they should all strenghten the community's ability to grow. The move by Village Green represents a loss to Marion only on the surface. It also opens up six acres on the northwest side of Exit 54 in Marion to new development, particularly for restaurants and/or hotels.
For inquiries about Marion or Johnston City land available for commercial development, contact Jon Musgrave at Paul Wilson Realty in Marion at firstname.lastname@example.org.