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In a beautiful valley, between the Allegheny mountains and the majestic Blue Ridge, lies Rockingham County and the city of Harrisonburg. Together, they form the Harrisonburg MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area). Rising from humble beginnings, the region has enjoyed a growth rate of 19% since 2003 and a combined population of 130,000, making it the 3rd largest county and the 12th largest city in the state. Once known as “the breadbasket of the south” during the civil war, the region has evolved into a modern day manufacturing and technology hub. Fueled by a highly educated workforce, low taxes, available properties and a high quality of life, the region has garnered acclaim from such sources as the Milkin Institute which named Harrisonburg as “one of the best performing small metropolitan areas in the United States”. Split by the I-81 (N to S) and 33 (E-W) corridor, the entire region is with a days drive of two thirds of the population of the United States. Add to this the close proximity of major rail, air and sea transportation and you can understand why many large manufacturing companies have made the region their home.
The search for a higher quality of education has driven much of the population growth. James Madison University (JMU), in Harrisonburg, has grown over 78% from the years 1990 to 2010. JMU has also become a cornerstone of the business growth in the region through its entrepreneurial and technology programs as well as its partnerships with local companies. In total, there are eight institutions of higher learning and seven workforce development centers within the expanded region. The yearly graduates of these institutions, combined with the graduates of the area high schools, provide a new workforce potential each year of nearly 12,000.
A considerable amount of the area’s attraction is found within its high quality of life. Harrisonburg is widely recognized as having the first arts, cultural and culinary districts created within the State of Virginia. Within its forty square block historic district, you will find upscale dining, architectural gems and shops that cater to all needs and budgets. Venture away from the city and you are quickly entranced by the natural beauty of the region. The George Washington National Forest, Shenandoah National Park and Appalachian Trail are all a short drive from the city center. Add to this the three major sporting resorts within an hour drive and you can see why Travel and Leisure Magazine ranked Harrisonburg #6 in “America’s Favorite Towns” awards in 2016.
If you would like to find out more about the great things this region can potentially provide for your business and your employees, please contact us at Dominion Commercial – we know the area, its people and places and have the experience to be a valuable resource. We are your real partners for real estate.