Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Manhattan's Development, Growth Span Two Counties

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Manhattan's Development, Growth Span Two Counties

Article excerpt

The Little Apple is one of the few cities in Kansas located in two counties, Riley and Pottawatomie. Manhattan's economic activity and growth is felt in both counties, but also along the US-24 highway corridor, where subdivisions and businesses are sprouting.

Much of the commercial development on the city's east side is in Pottawatomie County, said Eric Cattell, Manhattan's assistant director of planning.

"The dividing line of the two counties is where the Blue River used to run," he said. "All of our residential areas do happen to be in Riley County. A lot of commercial is on the Pottawatomie side of the line. The whole Walmart-K-mart development area and the whole McCall Road corridor, which has seen a lot of growth in retail, is actually in Pottawatomie County."

In addition, the Blue Township, considered part of East Manhattan, sits in Pottawatomie County. Leaders of both counties work together as they plan growth in the area, Cattell said.

Pottawatomie County was part of Manhattan's previous comprehensive plan update in 2003, Cattell said, and county officials asked for a larger area to be included in recent years.

Jack Allston, executive director of the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corp., said Riley and Pottawatomie counties are closely linked, each supporting needs in the other. There is more land for development possibilities in Pottawatomie, for instance.

"So what's very, very important, and the business community understands this, is that we have a porous border, and that we work very closely with the Manhattan Chamber on almost all issues," Allston said. "We let them take part in lots of things we're doing, and they let us take part in a lot of things they're doing."

Allston, who has extensive economic development expertise nationwide, joined the PCEDC in 2014 and said he was hired to look at the "big picture." Part of that is understanding the importance of working with Manhattan.

"Our partnership with the Manhattan Chamber is a real partnership," he said, adding that an example was the relocation of Vets First Choice, a veterinary prescription management company. …

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