I see Blacksburg continue to develop the local area to better handle the ever expanding university right next door. While it is a good thing that the town is able to plan ahead of time, it does concern me that there might come a time when classes are done in the Spring and the students have to leave, that many businesses will have to either close for months, just to save money, or they might have to close down completely and hope they can make it through the summer. What I fear most is the town becoming completely reliant on the university being in session to keep local businesses alive.
I see the Town of Blacksburg making it through just fine in the next 20 years. The businesses in the area will continue to develop and grow. New areas like the shopping area on South Main St. next to the Kroger, are nice additions to the area but will have to be monitored to see if troubles develop as a result of not having the massive student population in town during summer. Over the next 20 years I see Blacksburg making strong investments into their infrastructure, trying to get more chain stores/restaurants into the area, and improve their roadways even more.
In the next 50 years, I do not see much difference between Blacksburg’s development plan. The Town will continue to grow at a steady pace thanks to the open lines of communication between them and the university. However, even that open line of communication doesn’t save Blacksburg from the thing that could hurt it: being reliant on one thing to bring in money. Although the town has many sources of income, the vast majority of those sources come from the university bringing in an ever increasing student population. The town is reliant on the university, and the university is reliant on the town. While they both could exist without the other, they would look drastically different than what they are today.
In summation, I see Blacksburg growing and existing as it always has, a wonderful small town in the southwest of Virginia, the only place I have moved back to in my adult life, and a place I am very happy I can call home.