Is there any confidence in Calgary?
Unfortunately the economic numbers for the City of Calgary continue to decline. Recorded unemployment has reached a decade high of 8.0% (you can normally add 1 ½ % to 2 ½% to the existing EI rate, i.e. - individuals who no longer collect EI and still are not employed). More than 4100 businesses have closed this year already, compared to 3500 businesses in 2015. Housing starts are down 36% year-to-year. Despite all of these poor economic indicators, we have businesses moving forward with significant investments in Northwest Calgary (Ward 1). These developments have triggered long overdue infrastructure improvements, such has the Canada Olympic Park interchange, Bowfort Road upgrade, Sarcee/TransCanada interchange and the upcoming complete build-out of the 16th Ave NW/Stadium shopping centre intersection. These combined infrastructure investments exceed over $140 million and have created hundreds of jobs. The above mentioned projects are being tendered at a lower cost and are creating savings for Calgarians on required and overdue infrastructure. In fact, Administration has achieved over $95 million in capital savings in city-wide infrastructure projects year to date.
The following significant investments by developers and builders in Ward 1 are moving forward and creating jobs over the next several years:
1. Stadium Shopping Centre (Western Securities Ltd) (click here for area development plan and here for the Western Securities' website):
This project is a more than $400 million investment by the developer and will create 600-700 ongoing jobs during the project, and house 1700-2000 post-job residents.
2. Greenwich (Melcor): (click here to view Greenwich’s website)
This project is in the stripping and grading stage and proceeding with 2 phases. Over $40 Million of investment and 1103 post-job residents.
3. University District: (West Campus Development Trust) (click here to view West Campus Development Trust)
This is a multi-phased development with Truman and Brookfield Residential building the first phase. This project over its span is worth $30 Billion of real-estate value and will provide hundreds of jobs throughout the phases.
4. Medicine Hill (formerly Trinity Hills): (Click here to view the Trinity Hills website). This multi-phase development will generate over 342 F/T jobs and 50 P/T jobs on an on-going basis. The total investment may exceed $1.2 Billion
5. Crestmont Phase 4: (Click here to view the outline plan for West Crestmont Phase 4) The fourth phase of Crestmont has begun with an over $60 million investment and hundreds of jobs.
Additionally, there are smaller projects in Ward 1 such as Homes by Avi in Tuscany and Decker Homes in Rocky Ridge (Rock Lakes). Numerous businesses along the Bowness BRZ have completed street-front improvements, and additional street improvements are scheduled by Roads for the spring of 2017. As businesses are closing some new businesses are opening, such as the White Rose and All Seasons restaurants in Bowness. With the early completion of the Shouldice Athletic Park project, a street-front project will proceed in spring of 2017, along the 16 Avenue corridor as you enter Montgomery.
As a reminder, Council has passed the off-site levy agreement that requires industry to cover all infrastructure costs. It’s important to note that strategically it’s prudent for the City to invest in supportive infrastructure for certain private projects if the return in value warrants the investment. There are numerous projects moving forward throughout Calgary, projects that envision the long-term prospects of our city.
As well, significant capital injections from the City of Calgary over the next 4 years ($7Billion plus) will also address overdue infrastructure and create jobs (without borrowing money).
With over $2.5 Billion worth of investment in Northwest Calgary (Ward 1) alone, it is evident that “There is confidence in Calgary”.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.