This morning I noted on the RealCrozetVA Facebook:
Crozet needs employers so that not everybody needs to go to Charlottesville in the mornings.
Another day, another wreck on 64…
“Accident: EB on I-64 at MM115 in Albemarle Co. 1 travel lane closed. Delay 1 mi.8:24AM”
And this comment resonated with me:
Besides, wine, beer, cider, and new houses with amazing vistas, what are Crozet’s competitive advantages?
My quick list:
– Crozet is a community that cares
– Crozet have pretty good schools
– We are in a great location close to Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, parks, Charlottesville.
– We have (mostly) involved community members
– There is good enough walk and bikeability for those who choose to do so.
– We have a well-educated population (that is growing)
– Crozet has clean air.
What about you?
8 Replies to “What Are Crozet’s Competitive Advantages?”
I’m getting some great comments via email, and with permission, I’m sharing them:
“Did you go to the Crozet business owners’ meeting last night at PRN? …. Would love to know if rental space for non-retail businesses was discussed…seems an incredible paucity of potential lab / shop / research space in this area, but also in C’ville. Would be an incredible advantage for Crozet if someone built a facility around here to accommodate small (non-IT) tech businesses. As you’ve pointed out, there is a LOT of potential here with the brainpower we have in town.”
“Crozet needs more after school care options for dual-career families. The after school programs at the schools filled before the date they were supposed to do on-site registration. Charlottesville has many more options and families may start feeling at a disadvantage living in Crozet in this regard.
Not sure how to pass this on, but it’s a real problem for many families in Crozet.”
Another comment via email:
“Crozet needs housing for service businesses and their suppliers. All of the houses and retail designed for the growth area will require service providers – painters, plumbers, electricians, builders, landscapers, IT, etc. Crozet’s L.I. corridor on 240 is not an ideal place for regular, medium-heavy truck traffic, in my view.
Additionally, these service providers need materials, supplies and parts. B2B commerce must be part of the equation for keeping jobs in Crozet.”
As for our competitive advantages: we have lots of local cultural opportunities for all ages- toddlers to retirees. These include an Art and Dance school, a Ballet school, an Orchestra, a Chorus, and a Hand Bell Choir. There are public Country Dances at the Greenwood Community Center. These all add to a great quality of life in Crozet. Now if only we could get more bike lanes and sidewalks!!!
We are a great place for families with little kids!
– Businesses are welcoming to little children (e.g. play areas at Green House)
– Lots of play grounds
– Wineries / breweries are not just for adults: lots of space for little ones to run around
– We have a library!! We’ve gotten tons of use out of the library for our toddler. Probably cycled through over 100 books in the past year!
– Lots of like people with little kids
Since you seem to be talking about business related advantages I will start with location. We are three miles from a major interstate highway and have rail connectivity.
A fairly large, diverse workforce, though somewhat aged.
Disadvantages: Hostile, ad hoc committees without any real power but, add time and expense to any business idea.
The area is not covered by a decent Internet infrastructure.
Housing costs are high with an uncertain future. Area is now
trending towards Urban.
Crozet has benefited from Industry for years. To create the barriers that have led us to being a bedroom community is a
serious mistake that needs to be corrected. This will only
happen with a change of leadership at the county level…
I second Edward’s point about Internet connectivity. Working from home or running an at-home business requiring high-speed connectivity necessarily means living “in town” and that’s becoming an increasingly expensive proposition. We’re starting to price-out what might be one of our primary competitive advantages in young, entrepreneurial brainpower.
Also, the comment Jim listed above regarding lab / shop space was mine via email. Creating an environment friendly to smaller tech startups would eventually lead to many of these companies deciding to stay and grow here. We’re not going to have anything but a bedroom community as long as the jobs in Crozet are held primarily by people who cannot afford to live in Crozet.
There are two other things I haven’t yet seen mentioned that drew my family here:
– safety…this was a high priority for us after spending too many years in a large western city where crime was a daily concern;
– school quality…western Albemarle schools were a huge draw.
These are more personal than business-related, but would seem to influence potential employers’ / employees’ desire to locate here.
Completely agree with all of Damon’s points. A business incubator facility (for hi tech, etc…) would thrive here. I have seen it work many times in other communities in VA and NC over the past 25 years.