In response to a petition by businesses in the City Centre area to establish a BIA for the purpose of revitalizing the downtown, and to follow through on recommendations found in the City Centre Revitalization Discussion Paper, City Council approved the establishment of the City Centre Business Improvement Area (BIA)on June 17, 2016. Council also realized that, to be successful with the BIA initiative, an operating entity needed to be formed to oversea the BIA. Thus, the City Centre Business Association (CCBA) was formed on August 15, 2016 under the provision of Bylaw (C-966-16). Under the Bylaw, "the Council of the City of Spruce Grove received a request, pursuant to the Business Improvement Area Regulation, Alta. Reg. 93/2016, to establish a business improvement area generally located in the area of King Street extending west to Calahoo Road and from First Avenue extending north to the King Street Mall. The objects or purposes for which the Area is established are: (a) Improving, beautifying and maintaining property in the Area; (b) developing, improving and maintaining public parking, and; (c) promoting the Area as a business or shopping area by building effective partnerships with businesses, property owners, and municipal government, developing and marketing a positive image for the Area, attracting new businesses that support the vision for the Area, and encouraging reinvestment and future development in the Area."
The CCBA will have an elected Board of Directors including a City Council representative as well as a part-time Executive Director. City Council approved the establishment of the BIA for the purpose of promoting the revitalization and redevelopment of the Spruce Grove City Centre.
The focus of the Association to this point has been to sponsor events such as the Public Markets at Columbus Park and the annual Winter Fest to bring residents into the City Centre area. These events have been very successful and demonstrate an appetite to support the City Centre as a major community gathering site. These events began as a grass-roots initiative to test the community’s appetite to congregate in the City Centre and provide value to the businesses within the BIA. In 2016, a monthly Public Market took place throughout the months of July, August and September. Aside from the expected array of vendors and fresh produce to shop from, each Public Market was programmed with a specific theme in mind. The markets were deemed an astounding success, despite difficult weather at the final market in September. As a result of their successes, the Board decided to not only repeat the process for 2017 but they added a fourth market with a "Rock The Art Walk" to the roster. This proved to be a rewarding process that tested both the endurance and capacity of our young organization. The Spruce Grove Public Markets are already creating a measurable impact that is enhancing our local economic conditions, leveraging the available regional resources, and building local capacity for sustainable economic delivery that our tri-municipal area can benefit from.
It is understood that at least part of the CCBA's annual budget will be funded by a Business Improvement Levy on businesses located within the BIA zone. It is also understood that, in an effort to keep the levy amount as low as possible, the CCBA will undertake a series of signature events to raise funds for the purpose of fulfilling their mission.
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One of the recommendations from the City Centre Revitalization Discussion Paper was to prepare a City Centre Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP). It was recognized that City Centre revitalization is a long-term process and will require a consistent vision and support to be successful. This ARP is intended to be the start of a more in-depth process to re-energize the City Centre as a gathering place and focal point for the community. The business community has taken ownership of the initiative and wants to partner with the City in bringing about change.
To find out more about the Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP), and what is happening with it today;
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