Red Deer’s planning manager Emily Damberger said there’s more demand for large tracts of industrial than commercial land in Queens Business Park. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN).

An ‘uptick’ of interest in industrial land around Red Deer leads to proposed rezoning

Diverse businesses have been looking for opportunities to set up here, says administrator

More interest in industrial land around Red Deer is a positive economic sign, says a City of Red Deer administrator.

“In the last six months there have been more buyers looking for opportunities… There’s been a bit of an uptick in interest,” said Wade Martens, land co-ordinator for the city.

The types of industries that have been looking at possibly setting up here are similar to the developments that recently opened in Queens Business Park Industrial Area, across Hwy 2, he added.

“They have been diverse businesses,” noted Martens — including oilfield service, logistics, heavy equipment and maintenance.

Since industrial land been more sought-after than large tracts of commercial land, city council was asked on Monday to change rezone five acres in Queens Industrial Park from C-4 commercial to I-1 industrial.

The city’s planning manager, Emily Damberger, told council there’s a limited market for large commercial parcels. In any case, seven acres of commercial land are available just across from the lot that’s proposed for rezoning in Queens Business Park.

As well, Damberger said other commercial opportunities exist in Riverside Light Industrial Park and along Gaetz Avenue and 67th Street — while industrial land is more limited in the city.

She recommended the rezoning of the five-acre lot, south of Hwy 11A, and off 75th Avenue, because it would provide flexibility for future developments that could lead to more economic growth.

She added it’s in keeping with directions of the Municipal Development Plan, the intent of the West QEII Major Area Structure Plan and the plan for Queens Business Park.

Damberger also sees it as an opportunity to address market demand. She noted rezoning the lot I-1 (industrial business service) would allow it be developed either on its own, or consolidated with the adjacent industrial parcel.

The three land-use amendments were given first reading on Monday after councillors heard that no objections were expressed by area landowners.

A public hearing is scheduled for March 2.

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