Metro Edmonton City Builders Call for Downtown Investment

Over 160 companies involved in Edmonton’s Metropolitan land development are calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach to revitalize the city’s downtown.

As part of their newly adopted strategic plan, members of Urban Development Institute (UDI) Edmonton Metro are rallying around downtown vibrancy. According to the members, this new priority means concentrated advocacy for downtown’s recovery and long-term investment.

Photo: Nathan Mol; Downtown Business Association

It also includes stewardship and promotion of new business and residential development opportunities, expanding economic development opportunities, and supporting additional programs and events. The members state that  a series of tangible actions will be developed and pursued by UDI and its members over the course of the year.

“Our new strategic plan is focusing on the heartbeat of our big city in a new way,” said Susan Keating, Chair of UDI-Edmonton Metro’s Board of Directors. “With many Edmontonians returning-to-work, one immediate call-to-action is for our members to come downtown – to show their support for downtown businesses, shops, and restaurants. Our downtown is the site of many incredible buildings, but they truly become great spaces when people are in them.”

Edmonton’s downtown makes up one per cent of the city’s entire land supply but generates almost 10 per cent of the city’s property taxes. From 2001 to 2021, Edmonton’s downtown experienced a 61 per cent increase in dwelling unit growth. Today, there are about 261 jobs per hectare downtown.

“These are positive trends, but there’s more to be done,” said Kalen Anderson, Executive Director of UDI-Edmonton Metro. “UDI’s members have a major role to play in supporting efforts to make downtown Edmonton awesome and are looking forward to collaborating with our public and private sector partners to keep the pre-pandemic momentum going and the centre city growing.”

One of those members includes EDGAR, whose business focuses on Edmonton’s core. “Our company is deeply committed to a vibrant Downtown core, and we are actively developing residential and retail spaces for people and businesses to thrive,” said Henry Edgar, Partner of EDGAR. “Continued investment in parks, rapid transit and urban design along with affordable housing and community safety are critical if we are to remain competitive in our region.”

UDI’s new Strategic Plan consists of six key priorities: collaboration/partnerships, storytelling, government relations, member engagement, mentorship and education, and downtown vibrancy.

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