Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a series of columns by Historian Pat Stephens called Our History regarding Imperial Development.
HUBER HEIGHTS — When Charles Huber began developing in Wayne Township, he planned the community as he purchased property. He had a vision of neighborhoods, shopping, schools, churches and green space as he went. One example of this, is in photographs taken as he looked over the area. A photo of the south west corner of Brandt Pike and Chambersburg had a note “S. W. Corner Chambersburg Rd. and Brandt Pk. 25.468 acres”, for shopping. That is where Huber Center is now located. Another photo of Chambersburg Road was marked “50 Acre High School Site”. This was how Charles envisioned the community, as he purchased the land, what he didn’t develop into housing, was set aside for other needs.
Charles Huber did build some apartments, in 1965 he built the Hilltop Apartments and in 1974 Swan Lake apartments were added along Old Troy Pike near Taylorsville Rd. However, Charles Huber did not build the shopping centers, schools, gas stations, etc. He left that to other builders and developers.
Developers such as, Imperial Development Company, built shopping centers, apartments and office buildings. The company was comprised of local and area businessmen who saw an opportunity to bring apartments, shopping and banking to growing communities. The Board consisted of: President Charles Lofino, Vice President Dwight L. Hilgeford, Secretary-Treasurer Benjamin Poppa, Superintendent of Construction Don Copeland, and employees: Company Secretary Elaine Wantz and Accountant John Poppa.
Imperial Builders purchased land in Vandalia and formed Imperial State Bank. They purchased land in Wayne Township (Huber Heights), where they built a branch on what is now Nebraska Ave., their Corporate offices were also housed in the building. Creative World of Child Care now has their offices in that building.
More on Imperial Builders to come.
Pat Stephens is a Historian at the Wayne Township Huber Heights Historical Society. For more information about the Historical Society see our website www.huberhistory.org Facebook/Wayne Township Huber Heights Historical Society, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or, call Sue Patrick, President 937-545-4902 or Pat Stephens 937-974-5286.