By LOU WILIN
The editor of Site Selection magazine called it the “Findlay slam” on Tuesday, as Findlay celebrated being the top-ranked small city for business development for the fourth straight year.
Gary Daughters, senior editor of the magazine, presented local officials with awards marking the achievement for 2017, in an event attended by 200 at Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Hancock Hotel.
But Tuesday’s event was about more than Findlay’s besting nearly 600 other small cities in 2017. In the decades that Site Selection magazine has been ranking cities, Findlay is the only small city to top the list four consecutive years, Daughters said.
In the past four years, Findlay has racked up $762 million in capital investment and added over 3,600 jobs, he said.
He praised Findlay’s economic development leaders, particularly Tim Mayle, Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development director; Mayor Lydia Mihalik; and Dan Sheaffer, project specialist for Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development.
“It’s quite clear everybody is on the same page,” Daughters said. “There is a shared vision and everybody is committed to the same goal. That is something that not every town has.”
As if to show Findlay is not going to get complacent, officials on Tuesday unveiled a “vision” for a mixed-use development at the southwest corner of Interstate 75 and Hancock County 99.
Blanchard Valley Health System is buying 20 acres in the area for a yet-to-be-determined purpose.
Business leaders are hoping an additional 120 acres will be developed for residential, recreational and wellness.
“I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen,” Mayle said to the gathering.
Neither can Blanchard Valley Health System Chief Executive Officer Scott Malaney.
“Blanchard Valley Health System is preparing for the future, whatever the future may be,” Malaney said.
“Over the past several years, Blanchard Valley has been thinking about how to create a development that provides a more operationally efficient, user-friendly patient experience while at the same time bridges the gap between medical and wellness through integrated recreation and fitness programming,” he said. “The collaboration over the past two years with economic development has led us to a decision to purchase the 20 acres.”
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