Rudy Harper / Fox 14 – Updated on May 30, 2014: A feasibility study helps attract two well known restaurants to the city of Pittsburg.
Rib crib will open a location on the north side of Pittsburg.
Buffalo Wild Wings hopes to follow suit, pending approval from the city’s planning and zoning committee.
Results from a feasibility study conducted in January show Pittsburg is under-stored; meaning there’s potential for new retail and restaurant spaces.
The city used the study as a tool.
“It really has helped especially a smaller community like ourselves to show that we have the traffic that can support national well know retail and restaurants,” said President of Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce Blake Benson.
Rib Crib will build a brand new location, Buffalo Wild Wings would move into an existing building north of town.
Updated on January 14, 2013 at 10:30 p.m. CST: A study on Pittsburg’s potential for more hotel and retail space was presented at the City Commission Meeting on Tuesday.
In October, Pittsburg City Commissioners approved the hire of two consultant groups for $25,000 plus travel and printing costs.
Hoffman Strategy Group and Jeff Green & Partners were hired for the job.
A 36 page report was presented that included maps, a sales forecast, and projected population growth.
“Pittsburg though has made strides in attracting retail because were actually now bringing in more shoppers in our area than were losing but we want to continue that trend,” said Blake Benson, President of Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce.
Part of the study included recommendations to recruit national retailers, as well as strong local casual food and sit down restaurants.
Green and Hoffman believe 164,000 additional square footage of retail and restaurant space is available in the city.
“There are very specific recommendations in here [report] not only for fast food restaurants, but sit down restaurants, home improvement stores, clothing. Then the report narrows down the sales cast for each company,” said Benson.
The study will be used as a marketing tool for the city.
“It’s a lot easier to make your case to businesses interested in building here,” said Blake Benson Pittsburg City Manager. “If you’re not just saying hey the city thinks this, but some outside professional that knows the outside market, and knows the national market, and can talk about specifics.”
Consultants say Pittsburg is a unique city with four demand components: residents, workers, tourist, and college students.
A goal for the city is to fill vacant buildings north of town while increasing retail and restaurants near Pittsburg State.
The study also determined the city is in need of another hotel. The report recommends a hotel such as the Hampton Inn with at least 80 rooms.
Pittsburg City Commissioners will soon vote on hiring a consultant to look at the potential of the city’s hotel and retail space.
“We got good facilities we got good restaurants we got nice hotels but if we had more of them we could bring even bigger events in,” said executive director of Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, BJ Harris. .
Representatives from the city’s economic development advisory committee asked the recommendation be put on the city’s upcoming commissioners meeting.
“We realize Pittsburg is a unique entity with the college and we’re kind the hub for the Southeast Kansas Region,” said chair of the economic development advisory committee Dr. Shane Kannarr.
“I really think this is going to give us an opportunity or insights to see where we’re heading not necessarily where we are,” said Harris.
The proposed contract between the city of Pittsburg and Hoffman Strategy Group/Jeff Green Partners LLC out of Lincoln, Nebraska would cost $25,000, plus travel and printing cost.
The funds would come from the city’s revolving loan fund.
“We have an indoor event center that’s opening we have a performing arts center that’s under construction so the question is what can we do maximizes the convention business here,” said city manager Daron Hall.
If the city commissioners approve the recommendation, it states a report would be completed 60 days after the study.
City leaders believe a name brand company has more creditability to potential business.
“It would be something that feels a little better in your hand that’s unbiased and says this is where Pittsburg is at,” said Hall.
“We’re on the cusp of having one of the biggest years I think in history and I think one of the things is holding us back is having enough hotel room for some of those bigger events,” said Harris.
The city commissioner meeting is held inside the city’s police department on Tuesday at 5:30.