It's all about a conflux of great roadways, great railways and great runways.

Sure, West Chester and Liberty Townships boast an outstanding quality of life, an excellent school system and progressive government, which provide both businesses and residents with beautiful parks, sound zoning plans and high levels of service.

But the real reason that the West Chester area, ideally located along I-75 just north of the I-75 and I-275 interchange, is bound for growth? The area's location and multiple access points to the interstate system has led to significant expansion, elevating West Chester into Greater Cincinnati's 5th largest community based on population. Adjoining Liberty Township is on the growth fast track as well, averaging well over a thousand new residents per year for the past decade.

The face of commerce in this region is rapidly changing from manufacturing and distribution to Class A office and upscale retail development, technology-related businesses and regional medical facilities. While business booms, the leadership of both townships have launched significant planning processes.

Liberty Township is writing its first Comprehensive Master Plan and West Chester is updating its original Vision Plan, written a decade ago. Rapid commercial development will be guided by the goals and strategies laid out in these roadmaps for the future. Convenient location, thriving commerce, entrepreneurial leadership and a shared vision for the future make the communities of West Chester and Liberty Townships an ideal place to live and work. (By way of example, West Chester was recently named as one of the "Top 100 Best Places to Live" in the country by a CNN/Money Magazine poll.)

One of West Chester's greatest assets is its location.

The region is a day's drive or short plane ride to more than half of the nation's population, and I-75, the second longest interstate highway in the country, spanning from Michigan to Florida, runs through the middle of the region. With I-275 near, both I-71 and I-74 are minutes away. The Veterans Memorial Highway (Ohio 129), the east-west corridor in Butler County, makes its path through Liberty Township.

One of the key factors in the region's success has been its accessibility to the Dayton-Cincinnati corridor, which was enhanced by the completion of the Union Centre interchange in 1998. Plans are now underway for the extension of Cox Road to Ohio Route 63, and an expansion of the interchange at Hamilton-Mason road and I-75.

In fact, West Chester may be the only community in Ohio of its size with three interstate highway exchanges, points out Judith Carter, the West Chester Township administrator. (Liberty has one, as well.)

Butler County Regional Airport, located in nearby Hamilton, recently completed an expansion project for a new terminal. Also near are two international airports: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, 30 miles south, and James M. Cox Dayton International, 50 miles north.

Railroad access is also at hand with CSX and Norfolk & Western railroads.

Butler County, partnering with the private sector, installed a fiber-optic backbone, over 9,000 miles total, to connect the county to a high-speed broadband network. "Businesses must keep up with the fast pace," says Dina C. Minneci, Liberty Township administrator. "With Internet and e-mail, people have such busy lives and are demanding things on a much quicker basis than in previous years."

Retail is part of the mix, as well. ''West Chester was ready for this," says Pam Shrout, property manager of the 400,000-square-foot retail and entertainment development known as The Streets of West Chester. Business is so good, Shrout reports, The Streets - which was built in 2003 - will double its space into 2006.

Scenarios like this are common for West Chester and Liberty. Residents and businesses have been flocking to the area - the population has doubled since 1980 and new commercial construction from the past five years is valued at $1.6 billion.

At the heart of all the growth is the sprawling Union Centre business corridor.

"Union Centre has quickly become a premier business address, not just for West Chester, but for the entire Tricounty and Cincinnati area," notes George Flynn, general manager of the North Ridge Realty Group and a spokesperson for the Union Centre Blvd. Merchant Association, an organization with the mission of encouraging commerce in the Union Centre corridor.

"The Streets of West Chester is taking off as a lifestyle center," adds Chris Wunnenberg, development director for Schumacher Dugan Construction. "The residential growth is providing all sorts of business opportunities."

West Chester and Liberty benefit from their strategic location both nationally and regionally. Both townships are within 600 miles of more than 50 percent of both the nation's population and manufacturing plants. It also is in the heart of a growing "metroplex""”the developing area between Cincinnati and Dayton.

Resources abound for companies in the region. West Chester Development, a nonprofit organization supported by public and private entities, is a one-stop resource for business professionals about the area. A belief in continuing education motivated four organizations - the West Chester Chamber Alliance, Miami University Hamilton, Miami University Middletown and Butler County Technical and Career Development Schools - to team up to create the SEBC Workforce Academy. The academy offers classes on computer, management and workplace safety trainings for business professionals at minimum cost.

Public officials pride themselves for their nimbleness in serving the needs of both residents and businesses, concludes Carter, the West Chester township administrator.

"West Chester is fortunate that (the township trustees) strive to make West Chester a more competitive place to do business while providing amenities for our residents."