Breakfast event to highlight economic development in city
Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 06:00 am
City officials will share their vision for the future of development in St. Albert at the annual economic development business breakfast on Feb. 25.
The past year has seen an onslaught of economic development moving ahead in St. Albert, with the city having more area structure plans to consider than ever before, says economic development head Guy Boston.
“I am going to remind everybody about how much St. Albert has attracted the attention of developers,” said Boston. “And in fact we are going to show how much St. Albert has been committed for future growth.”
In 2007 the city annexed 3,500 acres of land, he said. Now 2,500 acres have been committed to be developed over the next five years. That will create changes for business in St. Albert, and those looking to come here, he said.
The upcoming breakfast will address these changes but also the efforts that the economic development branch is making to support the growth of the city – such as creating a retail market analysis study and other initiatives that foster interest from developers, he said.
“It does beg the question ‘what’s next’? And that’s what I want to talk about,” Boston said.
Boston added that his team has come a long way over the past year, especially in working with the rest of city administration.
“That can’t be undersold. Because it really does need to be a team effort and previously it wasn’t so much and that was part of the challenge economic development had,” he said.
Other speakers at the breakfast will be Mayor Nolan Crouse and city manager Patrick Draper.
The mayor already touched on economic development during his state of the city address, said Boston. But he will now put in context that it’s council’s priority that St. Albert has economic prosperity, he said.
Draper will speak about St. Albert’s smart city initiative – a strategy on how residents and businesses can use technology to enhance services in the community, and attract new investment.
“Which is very much the initiative that will bring efficiencies to St. Albert and make service delivery much more efficient and ultimately serve the citizens of St. Albert,” Boston said.
“This is the one time where you get to hear all of the pieces of the puzzle about what’s going on to help St. Albert’s economic prosperity,” he added.