The Regional Spotlight – Shippensburg
Shippensburg, a rural community located in the Cumberland Valley, boasts a distinct economic balance of education and industry along with an “everyone knows everyone” small-town feel.
Just south of Pennsylvania’s capital city of Harrisburg, and right along the Interstate 81 corridor, the historic college town spans both Cumberland and Franklin counties.
Route 11 passes directly through Shippensburg’s downtown (King Street), which closes to traffic on the last Saturday in August each year to celebrate the annual Corn Festival, an event that brings 60,000 – 70,000 visitors to the borough. During late July, Shippensburg also holds a community fair that has been going strong for more than six decades.
“Shippensburg has been growing slowly, but surely,” says Shaun Donovan, Director of Regional Workforce Partnerships for the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC). “Cumberland County is the fastest growing county in Pennsylvania, and Shippensburg is a contributor to that growth with Shippensburg University providing much of its stability.”
Seated along Old Main Drive, with undergraduate enrollment just shy of 6,000 students, Shippensburg University is the only university of Pennsylvania’s fourteen state system universities that offers degrees in civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and software engineering, as well as entrepreneurship.
“The university is a driver for the local economy,” says Drew Bobincheck, CCIM, Senior Associate for Landmark Commercial Realty. “As we see the university’s programs expand, I expect we’ll see more economic growth.”
Because of its location along the trucking corridor of Interstate 81, industrial commercial real estate continues to be strong in Shippensburg.
“In addition to industrial, Shippensburg also has opportunity for growth in the downtown area, along with retail strip centers to support the university’s student population,” adds Donovan.
Both Donovan and Bobincheck agree there are many opportunities for growth in Shippensburg.
“Education plays a key role in our economy on every level,” Donovan says. “With education as a driving force for Shippensburg, along with available land ready to be developed, more growth can be expected.”