Investment climate improving for Red Deer, says city

More business investors appear to be tire kicking in Red Deer

An increase in the number of vacant properties was another visible sign in Red Deer of the economic downturn, but it appears investment interest is on the upswing.

According to city statistics, nearly 90 new businesses opened in Red Deer from 2017-18.

Three businesses are currently getting their permits to open up shop in Queens Business Park, said Red Deer land and economic development manager John Sennema.

“We are seeing some uptick on people making requests. That’s exciting.”

“We get a lot of these inquiries. We get a business say they need 30,000 square feet and a loading dock,” he said.

“So my (economic development officers) will go out and try to identify, with the real estate agents, what properties might be in play,” he said.

The city’s land and economic development department is working on an investment strategy that it plans to take before city council in the fall. Details are under wraps, but they will be looking at ways to spur development of vacant lots or brownfield properties, lands that have been left undeveloped, sometimes for years.

“Whether it’s an underutilized or a brownfield site, what can we do to move those developments along? I know that’s an active discussion, but at the end of the day, council is going to have to pull the trigger on whatever we go with there.

“Council is looking at some incentives, but they have to be strategic,” he said.

To make it easier for businesses to make the decision to invest, the city has created the Investment Opportunity Engine on its website. It provides all the information a potential investor could need, such as a link to pages on the Queens Business Park website.

A business attraction strategy was also completed earlier this year for the city. It identified 50 business prospects.

“We are actively as an economic development team identifying and contacting all of those different businesses to see if they want to expand into or come to Red Deer.”

Competition for investment is fierce across Alberta, and even on the city’s doorstep, where Red Deer County’s Gasoline Alley has had success in attracting businesses.

Competing with neighbouring counties is pretty much standard for most larger communities, said Sennema.

“That situation will always occur. What we need to do as a city is put our best foot forward and try to attract those businesses that need full service and target those kinds of businesses.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vikings Days a celebration of Danish immigration, culture

The Danish Canadian Museum near Dickson held its annual Viking Days celebration… Continue reading

Red Deer would be the site of potential TV show

A potential TV show aims to bring Red Deer kids across the… Continue reading

Oilsands firms considering diluent recovery units to boost crude-by-rail volumes

CALGARY — Ongoing pipeline project delays and growth in crude-by-rail capacity from… Continue reading

WATCH: ‘Lots to see and do’ at Pioneer Days in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

OTTAWA — The United Kingdom is shirking its share of the international… Continue reading

Federal and provincial leaders to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — A number of federal and provincial leaders are expected in… Continue reading

Regina woman suing after tip of son’s penis cut off in circumcision

REGINA — A Regina mother has filed a lawsuit alleging negligence after… Continue reading

Maxime Bernier tells party faithful he will make it into the leaders’ debates

OTTAWA — Maxime Bernier argued that not inviting him to take part… Continue reading

Alberta suspects lead Mounties on chase before their capture in Camrose

CAMROSE, Alta. — Mounties from the Wetaskiwin, Alta., detachment had their hands… Continue reading

Man dies in hospital after aggravated assault in Winnipeg, police say

Winnipeg police say a man is dead after he was allegedly assaulted… Continue reading

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

MONTREAL — More than seven years after Raif Badawi was thrown in… Continue reading

Most Read