Significant development is underway right here in our own backyard – and it truly is part of the Alberta success story. I thought I’d put together, in a single article, some of the key developments and projects that are part of this.
Personally, this is a story that is important as I am an area business owner and resident, and I also sit on the Board of the Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association.
At the Leduc-Nisku EDA we have three primary strategic goals – foster organizational sustainability, strengthen regional partnerships, and stimulate economic development within the region. As an organization, in the past couple of years, we have focused efforts on helping to transform challenges into opportunities – not just for the region, but for Alberta.
For some of us who have gone through these recent challenging years, we are now just starting to see the turn around. I talked about the economic factors helping this turnaround in a past article, but the real proof is in what is happening right on the ground. In Leduc, we were seeing a 20% vacancy-rate in commercial buildings, and that is now down to 9%. And really, that is just the start.
While we can and should remain humbled by our recent experiences, we can start holding our heads high as what we are setting out to achieve for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region is going to drive development and become a signifier that Alberta is a place of international investment and a diverse economy.
Key developments in the region:
Alberta Aerotropolis initiative highlights the long-term development strategy for the region and regional collaboration. The Alberta Aerotropolis is a development partnership between the City of Leduc, Leduc County, Edmonton International Airport and City of Edmonton. The area is projected to become the economic gateway to the Edmonton Metropolitan Region (formerly referred to as the Capital Region), northern Alberta and a large segment of Canada’s northern communities. Importantly, this connects the Canada-Mexico (CANAMEX) Trade Corridor, Canada and the rest of the World together. This is happening in large part by the developments occurring right here in the Leduc-Nisku area.
Alberta Aerotrpolis is further bolstered by the efforts of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) and Edmonton International Airport (EIA) who have created the joint venture – Port Alberta. Port Alberta provides logistics, transportation and supply chain solutions to connect Alberta’s economy to worldwide markets.
The facilitation of Port Alberta’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) allows companies involved in the handling and transport of goods to minimize or bypass certain trade barriers.
Developments At EIA
Outlet Collection Shopping Complex
Truly serving as hub, Alberta Aerotropolis will bring attraction and opportunity to the area hosting a world-class shopping complex. The Outlet Collection at EIA. has 428,000 leasable square feet it will feature over a 100 stores, including many ‘first-time’ retailers to Alberta. A combination of indoor and outdoor layout will bring accessibility for regional visitors and travelers alike.
This $225M development is slated to open May 2018 and is expected to generate about 1,000 part-time and full-time jobs.
Another indicator of long-term investment into the area comes from the addition of new 154,000-square foot Costco warehouse, liquor store and gas station. Creating over 250 jobs it will be located in Alberta Aerotropolis near the Outlet Collection mall as well as the new Marriott Fairfield.
Fairfield Inn by Marriott
Complementing the existing Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel, the second Marriott hotel will be located close to the new Outlet Collection mall and will feature 135 rooms along with full amenities.
Construction is already underway for the $21-million project with a slated opening for January 2019.
Aurora Cannabis Inc.
This is a project that has already made global headlines as Aurora’s 800,000 square foot greenhouse facility will be the largest medical marijuana production facility in the world. Reliable Welding is proud to be part of the sub-contractor group for this project. Aurora first approached the Leduc-Nisku EDA in fall 2016 looking for land in the Leduc region. EIA was able to work with them to find land that suited their security, water and power needs. The support of Leduc County moved this development along quickly. This is an advanced production facility with full completion of its $110-million construction projected by mid-2018.
Featuring the latest in automation, the Aurora Sky facility will bring another 200 – 300 technical and professional jobs into the region when it is fully operational.
Opening on the Edmonton International Airport lands, just south of the Red Tail Landing Golf Course, this will be a $50-million horse racing track and casino. It will feature the only mile-long track in Western Canada allowing for fewer turns and longer straightaways – a feature appealing to serious race enthusiasts.
Century Casino’s new facility will have 1,100 slot machines along with a full restaurant, lounge, concessions and bars throughout.
The new facility will bring jobs and become a major attraction for the area.
Alberta Motor Transport Association training facility
Already in operation, this will be a Silver LEED certified training facility serving the transportation industry. Once fully completed in 2018, it will total 27-acres including a two storey building with classroom area, simulator, and driver practice track.
Leduc Food Processing Plant expansion
The Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator is getting a $10-million expansion that will add another 2,300 square metres to the existing 7,000-square-metre plant.
The project is scheduled for completion in 2019, and will now cement it as not just North America’s largest food incubator, but the largest in the world. The development is another first for our area and a sign of its economic value.
A big win for the area comes courtesy of Ford with the construction of a 400,000-square foot automotive parts warehouse and distribution centre in the Leduc Business Park.
With Ford being among the top of Fortune 500 companies, their investment will likely be a catalyst for others companies looking to make their move into the Leduc-Nisku area.
The Leduc-Nisku EDA has been working with HempCo since Spring 2016 to develop their new facility. This state of the art hemp processing and decorticating facility will focus on developing food and fiber products from hemp grown here in Alberta. Already drawing attention from companies like Aurora Cannabis, HempCo is investing $25M in their facility in Nisku and will create 40 professional and technical jobs as they help grow the hemp industry in Alberta.
QEII overpass (planned)
Planning is now underway to connect Leduc and the Edmonton International Airport via the proposed 65th Avenue interchange/overpass. The Alberta government is partnering with the City of Leduc and the Edmonton International Airport to cover the initial design costs.
An important modernization to the area’s infrastructure, the overpass will reduce congestion and connect industrial developments.
The above projects are a clear example of significant development that is underway in the area and supports the vision of developing the region into an ‘inland port’, global transportation corridor, economic powerhouse and community centre.
Learn more about the opportunities that are happening in the Leduc-Nisku Region.