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Blacksburg seeing record building growth

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The town of Blacksburg is booming when it comes to new building projects. They are seeing a record number of requests for building permits.

There are several reasons. One is because Blacksburg is usually not affected by the economy. When the economy went south several years ago for the most part Blacksburg did not see declines in businesses. Another reason is the town says Blacksburg is a simple place to live.

"If there's more people here, more dollars to be spent, I think that's definitely going to help out the economy as a whole. I think there are absolutely no negatives when it comes to that," said Scott Davidson who owns Campus Cookies.

We checked the number of building permits and in 2010 the town issued 1,367 permits. In 2013 that number jumped to 1,668. So far this year they've issued 600 permits tripling what they've done in the past and breaking a record for the first four months of 2014. 

The town of Blacksburg says they're seeing a lot of projects including a multimillion dollar apartment complex and a $12 million facility which will be the future home of the IMAX theatre with a bowling alley and restaurant.

These projects are just a few in Blacksburg that have a total construction value over $60 million and that's something the town has not seen before.

"We wanted that to grow for a long time," said Cathy Cook, Blacksburg's building safety official who says part of the reason for growth is Virginia Tech. "I'm sure the college helps drive new businesses and construction in town. Blacksburg is also a great place to live so we have a lot of large projects that are underway right now that's keeping us busy."

Business owners in First and Main like the new children's museum hope other businesses will soon open shop so people can enjoy the plaza.

"We want them to come here and spend the day in Blacksburg and also participate and enjoy the shopping and attractions," said Janine Kniola, the Blacksburg Children's Museum founder.
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