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Downtown Real Estate

Cities that have vibrant downtowns have major companies located there and make an effort to attract businesses to downtown. Something our city has not done well, ever.

Cities that have vibrant downtowns, feel safe and we have work to do on that still.

Cities that have vibrant downtowns have a decent selection of places for people to shop and needed services, not just some coffee shops and restaurants. So many businesses closed during COVID and more has to be done by the city to bring in new businesses to fill the horrible gaps that currently exist. There need to be more financial incentives for this.

When we make progress on these three important things, people will consider living downtown. Until then we just risk building more housing that while cheaper may not be filled.
 
Cities that have vibrant downtowns have major companies located there and make an effort to attract businesses to downtown. Something our city has not done well, ever.

Cities that have vibrant downtowns, feel safe and we have work to do on that still.

Cities that have vibrant downtowns have a decent selection of places for people to shop and needed services, not just some coffee shops and restaurants. So many businesses closed during COVID and more has to be done by the city to bring in new businesses to fill the horrible gaps that currently exist. There need to be more financial incentives for this.

When we make progress on these three important things, people will consider living downtown. Until then we just risk building more housing that while cheaper may not be filled.
More homes downtown would address all of these things very directly
 
My only feedback @David A is that your points are not wrong, but we're not really talking about where you or I want to live. We have shovel ready projects Downtown that want to go ahead regardless of those issues, but can't make sense of the numbers. I've been trying to get that across and perhaps failing to do so.
 
Surprise! YEG is not the only city with DT issues
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Certainly not, but it's having a boom in housing, especially mid and high rise Towers in and around the Downtown core.
 
Honestly, the whole issue of people wanting to live downtown is slowly becoming a moot point, especially since CMHC numbers along with Puneeta McBryan's statements during the committee session earlier have stated that vacancy rates downtown have dropped massively. At this rate, it's not a question if people are going to live downtown, they're going to by lack of rental vacancies in the suburbs and other areas. I don't think it's 2021 anymore where this conversation was a genuine topic of debate. Student populations along with net migration are going to keep increasing at this rate.

For all intents and purposes, I'm supportive of a grant (granted, I 100% oppose the money to come out of the CRL funding though, which is why I'm fully supportive of the money coming out of the Housing Accelerator Fund). I'm hoping Sohi's question during the committee clarifying what's the most, black and white, effective way to spur development (with everyone stating a grant) means that we're moving towards that direction.
 
Cities that have vibrant downtowns have major companies located there and make an effort to attract businesses to downtown. Something our city has not done well, ever.

Cities that have vibrant downtowns, feel safe and we have work to do on that still.

Cities that have vibrant downtowns have a decent selection of places for people to shop and needed services, not just some coffee shops and restaurants. So many businesses closed during COVID and more has to be done by the city to bring in new businesses to fill the horrible gaps that currently exist. There need to be more financial incentives for this.

When we make progress on these three important things, people will consider living downtown. Until then we just risk building more housing that while cheaper may not be filled.
This is exactly what I've been advocating for on this forum for a long time now. Yes, we absolutely need more residents in the core to not only make make things more lively, but to reach that critical mass to support local businesses. And I support incentives and grants to help spur development in the core too.

But it drives me nuts that this city does so little to try and attract unique corporations and companies to set up shop downtown. I understand that long gone are the days of people coming in person to work at their 9-5 downtown office, but getting companies to have their address downtown does help with people (especially young professionals) to want to be closer to work and thereby requiring amenities close to them and spurring development in and around downtown.

It's disheartening when you see your neighbours to the south always campaign to try and attract companies to move on down there and the results have been a lot better then what we see here.
 
But it drives me nuts that this city does so little to try and attract unique corporations and companies to set up shop downtown.
Yes!
The company I now work for is one of the largest environmental and industrial services in Canada, publicly traded and with absolutely no demand for more parking than what an office tower DT would offer.
Yet, we're in freaking Sherwood Park, in the middle of a suburban hellscape.
 
$14 million isn't as bad as I expected for 1,000 units. That can easily be accommodated by HAF money I hope.

That figure is based on a $40/sq. ft subsidy. Developers would like about double that or more it seems.

That said, if council did move forward with the $40 rate, I wonder if that would be enough or if developers would walk away from an incentive like that.

And if the subsidy isn't approved, are the 2nd phases of The Parks, Falcon or Stationlands not going to move ahead in 2025? Or do these projects still fall under the 2021 tax freeze incentive?
 
That figure is based on a $40/sq. ft subsidy. Developers would like about double that or more it seems.

That said, if council did move forward with the $40 rate, I wonder if that would be enough or if developers would walk away from an incentive like that.

And if the subsidy isn't approved, are the 2nd phases of The Parks, Falcon or Stationlands not going to move ahead in 2025? Or do these projects still fall under the 2021 tax freeze incentive?
I believe some developers would. From my understanding listening to the committee, some projects would still go ahead at $40/sq. ft. Not all, but some.

That's a good point though with the 2021 tax freeze incentive and if that applies still.
 
The Parks, Falcon or Stationlands not going to move ahead in 2025? Or do these projects still fall under the 2021 tax freeze incentive
I don't know about the Falcon and Stationlands, but I have it on good authority that The Parks is going ahead regardless (when I can disclose my sources, I'll be glad to do so. Right now I am bound by an NDA).
I believe the Falcon and The Parks fall under the tax freeze, but not Stationlands, for some weird reason, or at least it is what I've been told. I'll dig into it, if no one else comes up with an answer quicker than me.
 
I am hearing that $40/sq. ft. would be attractive to many developers even though it's not as much as hoped. Possibilities include:

- Phipps McKinnon conversion
- Milner conversion
- Falcon 2
- Shift 1-2
- Maybe a Westrich tower
- Parks 2
- ICE District tower?

A one year extension for the CRL granted by the province would provide an extra $70-100m. This is paid back exclusively by the uplift in tax revenue by Downtown taxpayers. Cabinet would have to approve this, but they already approved an extension for Rivers District CRL in Calgary. Other funding sources include the housing accelerator (some of which should probably be spent Downtown) or provincial infrastructure money to pay for further tax abatement (a tax abatement program directly from the city is not legal from my understanding).
 
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My only feedback @David A is that your points are not wrong, but we're not really talking about where you or I want to live. We have shovel ready projects Downtown that want to go ahead regardless of those issues, but can't make sense of the numbers. I've been trying to get that across and perhaps failing to do so.
The numbers don't make sense because it is not attractive enough to live there and the reasons it is not attractive enough go back to the fundamental issues I brought up.

Unfortunately, throwing money at it may seem to be an easy solution, but it really does not fix things.
 

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