ST. ALBERT, AB, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - St. Albert's economic development
plans were expounded on by Mayor Nolan Crouse, City Manager Patrick
Draper and Economic Development Executive Director Guy Boston at the
City's annual Business Breakfast on February 26, 2013.
"What differentiates St. Albert's economic development opportunities are
our community, access to key transportation routes, the community's
Botanical Arts brand, as well as 1,200 acres of available
non-residential land," says Mayor Crouse. He also pointed out that the
community supports economic development and it is a Council priority.
Mayor Crouse proclaimed February 26 as Economic Development Day in St.
Albert to recognize the importance of economic development.
"Effective economic development programs need a focus to drive
collaboration, to develop human expertise and skills, to connect
industry clusters and to build critical mass and economies of scale,"
says Draper. "For St. Albert, the focus will be based on the Smart City
principles expanded to serve as a springboard for regional and
provincial growth, while reducing our environmental footprint." Council
approved the development of a Smart City Centre of Excellence Master
Plan on February 19, 2013, to create a competitive advantage in the new
knowledge-intensive, technology-based global economy.
Conceptually, Smart City is about using information and communication
technologies in all aspects of services and infrastructure to create
efficiencies for residents, businesses and government. The concept is
also closely tied to reducing cities' ecological imprint to a minimum
by increasing their resource efficiency. Examples of such innovative
solutions already in place in St. Albert include St. Albert's Transit's
NextBus application which tells subscribers when their bus will arrive,
and traffic management at signalled intersections through cameras to
improve traffic flow, and in the future, to centralize traffic
monitoring and management.
"The second critical success factor is the formation of an alliance that
will bring together community leaders and city builders, governments,
businesses, international corporations, land developers and academic
innovators. This alliance will identify the opportunities, create
knowledge networks, incubate the solutions and champion the launch of
these new innovations to residents," added Draper. "This would manifest
itself in Smart City showrooms for global technology providers, Smart
City conference space, technology start-up incubators,
energy-efficiency academic labs, data analytic warehouses and more. We
will provide a whole city approach to the adoption of innovative
technologies to improve the efficiency of City operations and quality
of life for residents, attract business investment to the city, realize
labour efficiencies and provide real-time data on the operation and
condition of City infrastructure and services."
Boston provided an update on the City's Economic Development Action Plan
approved in October 2012. "We are embarking on the single largest
industrial development in the history of St. Albert. There are
impressive opportunities here for land assembly by developers and great
opportunities for business investment and employment growth," says
Boston. "We have invested in transportation infrastructure to connect
to major routes within the region and provincially. We have 617 acres
of land recently designated as light industrial. The City has made
progress on a number of items on the Plan in the residential,
commercial and industrial sectors to support economic development. We
will continue to take a strategic approach to creating development
opportunities, increasing appropriate housing solutions and labour
opportunities for sustainable growth and development."
Some of the highlights of the progress include: 175,000 sq. ft. of
commercial space added/being added by the end of 2013, with two major
international brand anchor tenants; and 31 new industrial businesses in
2012. Great West Life recently purchased 143 acres of industrial land
and its plans include 1.3 million sq. ft of development starting as
early as next spring.
Short- to mid-term plans include: Smart City Centre of Excellence Master
Plan to take advantage of information and technology-based economy;
wayfinding signage master plan underway to better serve businesses,
visitors and residents; and a new residential attraction strategy aimed
at attracting younger families to St. Albert. The City will continue to
work on the items in the action plan, including design options for
industrial development and potential industrial incentives for
Council's consideration by June 2013.
The video of the full presentation of the annual breakfast is available
on the City's Youtube channel. The webcast of the Smart City presentation to Council is
available on the City of St. Albert website at www.stalbert.ca/council-meetings-library.For more information on the City's economic development activities
please visit www.cultivatebusiness.ca.
Known as the Botanical Arts City, St. Albert has 61,000 residents and
abuts Edmonton, Alberta's capital. St. Albert was ranked 5th on the 2012 Canadian Real Estate Investment Network's Top Albert
Investment Towns, and 12th on MoneySense's 2012 Best Places to Live in Canada ranking.
SOURCE: City of St. Albert
For further information:
City of St. Albert
City of St. Albert
Executive Director, Economic Development
City of St. Albert