It takes a village

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July 26 editorial

When a Kentucky native and now Utah real estate developer announced plans to invest $4.5 million into Radcliff Village to develop more usable square footage, a burst of enthusiasm enveloped Radcliff. We welcome new destination shops and dining variety in Radcliff and believe announcement of economic development is a significant signal for all of Hardin County.

Radcliff Village will set a new standard for the city and county. Perhaps it’s time other retail space developers look at how they’re positioned to serve the needs of Hardin County.

Now that BRAC has comfortably settled into the area, we are starting to see physical changes in the market. All it takes is a drive down U.S. 31W between Elizabethtown and Radcliff to see growth on both sides of the road. A Cheddars, Colton’s Steak House and a new Caroline’s are just some of the coming dining choices we soon will have.

We are fortunate to have developers such as Joe Markham who are willing to invest in the future of Hardin County. His vision for Radcliff Village is a reflection of his commitment to help Radcliff position itself as a logical choice for future retail development. Providing jobs and much needed tax revenue is what we call responsible development.

On July 19, Markham presented his plan to the Radcliff City Council and local residents. There is no question that when the multi-layered project is complete it will pressure other developers to step up to the plate. The plan would position Radcliff Village as center that has something for everyone: retail, restaurants, hotels and offices in a village-like setting.

The North Hardin High School graduate has a vision to provide Radcliff with a venue that will allow the city to build community pride and bond together. Soon you may find yourself visiting the planned farmers market or attending a concert in the pavilion at Radcliff Village.

This plan also calls for several multi-family units to be built around the village perimeter. When this development is complete, Radcliff Village will offer a unique lifestyle with convenient shopping, dining and entertainment. Will Radcliff be the premier city in Hardin County, as Markham says it will? That question is one for future generations to decide, but if he gets it done, Radcliff Village will become the standard by which other developments will be measured.

With a stressed economy, this is an aggressive plan and financing could be a challenging. That doesn’t seem to concern Markham. He hopes to complete the project in five years. It is obvious that he has passion and cares deeply for Radcliff and Hardin County. The implementation of this plan could stir the competitive pot for developers, which would only mean continued quality-of-life improvements for all of Hardin County.

We congratulate Joe Markham for his commitment, his vision and his willingness to invest in the city he loves. It is that spirit that represents the core values of the people of Hardin County, which obviously is the land of opportunity for many including Joe Markham and Radcliff Village.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.