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Economic Development Update and Stats from Grande Prairie
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Issue Highlights

Grant Funding Opportunity for Downtown Businesses


The next intake for Downtown Incentives Program opens April 9th. The program includes four funding opportunities for downtown businesses.
The Facade Improvement Grant offers up to $50,000 in funding for downtown building owners and tenants making improvements to the fronts of their buildings that incorporate enhancements to aesthetic appeal, pedestrian access and public safety.
The Urban Residential Development Grant is intended to encourage residential and Mixed-Use development in the Downtown. Infill development and redevelopment within the program area is eligible for incentive grants of $10,000 per Dwelling Unit for apartment buildings and $15,000 per Dwelling Unit for mixed-use Apartment Buildings. Additionally, residential projects may qualify for a three year tax deferral on the Incremental Assessment Value and a matching grant for half of the cost of upsizing water and wastewater connections to a maximum of $50,000
The Patio Grant encourages downtown businesses to develop outdoor patio spaces through a matching grant of 50% of the patio’s cost, up to $5,000.
Finally, the Demolition Grant offers a 50% matching grant up to a maximum of $50,000 for the removal of a building within the downtown incentives boundary.
Applications will be accepted April 9th - May 7th, 2018.  
Additional details are available at cityofgp.com/downtownincentives.
 

GPRC Awarded Degree Granting Status

GPRC LogoThe Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) has hit an important preliminary step in their quest to become a university. Last week the Minister of Advanced Education, the Honourable Marlin Schmidt announced that the college has been awarded the ability to grant degrees. An important step for the community as a whole, GPRC will be able select which degrees will be offered in order to meet the labour needs of the local economy. No timelines have been set but work has already begun on setting community priorities and selecting which degrees will be offered first.
 

Housing


151 homes were sold in Grande Prairie last month, a 20% increase over 2017 and the busiest January since 2014. The average home price remained steady at $296,151.
 


There was one single-family start last month, similar to the three starts seen in January 2017.
 

Quarterly Regional Housing Start Report - Q4
 


The Grande Prairie region saw 405 housing starts last year, down 10.8% from 2016.
 

New Construction





59 building permits worth $5.09 million were issued in Grande Prairie last month.
Click on the links below for interactive maps showing where development is occurring throughout the city.
Commercial | Residential | Industrial Institutional

Employment






The unemployment rate in Grande Prairie's economic region decreased slightly from 6.0% in December to 5.9% last month. Provincially, the unemployment rate increased from 6.7% to 6.8%.

There were 810 full-time equivalent jobs posted in Grande Prairie last month.

Drilling Report

94 drilling licenses were issued in Grande Prairie last month, a 9% increase over 2017. Of the licenses issued in January, 54 were for oil, 37 for gas and 3 for other industry related wells, compared to 44, 35 and 7 respectively last year.
Completions were also up in January with 125 completions in 2018 compared to 119 in 2017.
 

Overdimensional Vehicles Travelling Through Grande Prairie
 



1,766 oversized vehicles passed through the city last month, a 63% increase over last year and the highest January on record.

Commodities

Power Update




January electricity prices settled at $40.83/MWh, the highest monthly average Alberta has seen since June 2015 with a total of thirteen hours settling above $100/MWh. In comparison, only 26 hours in 2017 and eight hours in 2016 were priced in the triple digits.

These peak prices were due to extreme cold temperatures, very low wind generation and multiple plant outages mid month. The peak hourly settle of $929.83/MWh was reached on January 12.

For more details, check out the TransCanada Power Market Update.

Travel

Grande Prairie hotels saw an occupancy rate of 68.0% in November, up significantly from 53.7% in the same month last year and well above the provincial average of 52.4%.
  
The Grande Prairie Airport also saw another increase over last year with 35,080 passengers passing through in November, up 12% from 31,278 last year.

For additional information on the travel and tourism industry check out the Alberta Tourism Market Monitor

News

Industrial park expected to pave way for Highway 40 twinning
TransCanada announces $2.4 billion NGTL expansion
Grande Prairie college tapped to become university
New Seven Gen plant gets $5M tax credit
Grande Prairie Goes Boom
New Ethiopian restaurant opens in town
New cafe promises to be unique
Minister Bilous discusses pipeline, caribou and the economy
 
investgrandeprairie.com
For more information, contact:
ecdevinfo@cityofgp.com
780-538-0475


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investgrandeprairie.com
For more information, contact:
ecdevinfo@cityofgp.com
780-538-0475


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Economic Development · 10205 98 St · Grande Prairie, Alberta T8V 6V3 · Canada

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