Slower growth on the edges of suburbia

While many cities struggle with finding money, some suburbs are still growing. On the suburban fringe of Chicago, about 42 miles southwest of the city, Oswego is still experiencing growth though the pace has slowed:

This year, the local school district reported 648 more students for a total enrollment of 16,828, the village expects to issue up to 100 new-home permits and the village’s population is expected to top 30,000.

And sales tax revenue rose 8 percent — to $4.8 million — for the fiscal year ending in April. The village’s top revenue source also appears stable so far in the new budget year…

In 20 years, Oswego exploded from a village of 3,876 to nearly 30,000 and to an even larger market area that includes unincorporated areas in Kendall County, the village of Montgomery and portions of Aurora.

With the slow-up should come increased business for existing firms. But for the foreseeable future, major retail developments that once arrived in tandem with new residents aren’t likely.

So this is what the recession looks like in Oswego: no decline, some difficult in filling in existing retail and industrial space, but still growing tax revenues, some new home construction, and school enrollments.

I’d be curious to see a larger analysis of how suburbs, particularly those that were growing in the last decade, have fared in the economic crisis. Even with the money woes, I can’t imagine many have declined in population or though perhaps business has declined. My guess is that suburbs that were growth areas five years are in a holding pattern or are experiencing slight growth like Oswego.

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