Chestermere’s land purchase a business growth opportunity in the Calgary Region

by • September 16, 2015 • Community, Economic development, Economy

By Shari Fenn, Content Contributor

Are you looking for a desirable place to set-up your business and live?

Finding the right place is not always an easy one.

If this is you, then you may want to consider the lakeside oasis of Chestermere.

In January 2015, Chestermere officially became Alberta’s newest city.

Now, Chestermere is taking another step forward in sustainability and has made an announcement about the purchase of 101 acres of property for commercial and industrial development.

The land is located just minutes from the TransCanada Highway, Calgary International Airport, and CN Logistics Park.

This makes Chestermere ideal for commercial and industrial growth.


Poised for business growth and investment

Chestermere land purchase aerial

Aerial view of the 101 acres of land purchased by the City of Chestermere for business development. (Courtesy the City of Chestermere)

One of the fastest growing communities in Alberta, Chestermere’s rapid evolution from a cottage escape to a thriving city has put the city on the radar for new business growth and investment.

“We are very excited to announce our second of the firsts that we’re experiencing in Chestermere this year, which is a land acquisition of 101 acres,” said Mayor Patricia Matthews. “The intent with that land is to develop like we’ve never developed in Chestermere before, and offer employment centres to those who want to come and help us diversify our tax base.”

Chestermere is seeking to attract light industrial and commercial enterprises to expand and diversify the City’s non-residential sectors.

We’ve received many calls about areas for development and we’re thrilled to offer this opportunity for more businesses to call Chestermere home,” said Matthews.


Chestermere’s land purchase facilitates commercial and industrial growth

Chestermere's land purchase - ground picture

Matthews says the land purchase is not about population growth, but rather is to facilitate commercial and industrial growth in Chestermere.

“It’s not housing at all,” she says. “We’ve spent a great deal of time attracting businesses to Chestermere, but this is an area we don’t currently have, and we want to make sure we have that as an offering, and we invite people to call us and we’ll tell them all about it.”

Matthews says after the decision to become a city, it’s important to keep moving towards becoming a more viable and sustainable community.

“Having strong diversity of non-residential development is essential to the health and sustainability of a community,” said Chestermere’s Economic Development Manager, Jean-Marc Lacasse.


Major enterprises consider moving to Chestermere

Lacasse explained that Chestermere’s developers have no current or future plans to create these types of spaces, so when an opportunity arose to purchase developable land for under market value, the City decided to take control of its future by pursuing its own development.

“We have already been experiencing significant interest from major enterprises looking to find a new location,” said Lacasse. “With the ability to develop this land ourselves, we will now be able to offer space for companies looking to find a great home on Calgary’s eastern border.”

In a release, the City of Chestermere provided some background information about the decision and the land itself:  

Ideal location for commercial and residential businesses:

  • The land is located in the south east portion of Chestermere.
  • This development in Chestermere will offer excellent access to the TransCanada Highway, Calgary International Airport, and the CN Logistics Park, in addition:
    • no business licence tax
    • an available workforce
    • competitive tax rates and
    • a stunning community in which to work, live, and play
  •  The land will be developed for 1-5 acre lots for light industrial and commercial businesses.

Chestermere's land purchase land use


Attracting professional and technical services

The type of businesses the City is seeking includes professional and technical services (e.g. engineering firms, mechanics), distribution and logistics (e.g. warehouses, third party logistics), research and development, and manufacturing (e.g. small scale indoor production and fabrication).

This development will not include ‘smoke stacks’ or outdoor industrial storage areas.

There will be very high standards and architectural controls for this area to ensure it is visually appealing and fits into the character of the City.

Over the next two years, the City will pursue the regular development process starting with an Area Structure Plan.

The City is seeking to begin selling parcels in the next 1-2 years, but is eager to speak with interested investors now.

Shari Fenn is a Canadian storyteller, inbound content writer and owner of Cross Communications Inc.


3 Responses

  1. Kelly ann says:

    This is amazing timing – I have already applied for my chestermere business licence and this just confirms my decision . I am looking into setting up in this new commercial area.

  2. Chrisanna Fagan says:

    What a great opportunity to start out fresh in such a beautiful area that is growing in leaps and bounds. Great for business !!!!

  3. Allan Pleskie says:

    On the surface it looks like a noble plan but I encourage everyone before they comment to look at some facts first, and consider some of the following questions – perhaps it may change your view as the taxpayer funding it.
    – Council has done very little to engage the community on its plans prior to purchasing this land. They did the minimum required by law, two small ads in the Anchor, hardly what I would call a valid effort at engaging the taxpayer on such a large expenditure using their tax dollars. Why have they been so secretive?
    – The first Developer went bankrupt allowing the City to claim purchasing the land at below Market value. It would be interesting to know what the Market value was, what they actually paid for it and what the market value is today? In addition who did the market value assessment? The buyer or the seller? Again, I question the lack of transparency in knowing exactly what kind of deal we got?
    – The City has stated that none of the current Developers in the area have plans to undertake commercial development as there is not enough of a return on investment – yet Council believes there is – what does Council know that people who do this everyday for a living don’t?
    – What experience does Council have in Land Development? It takes a considerable amount of resources to develop land and market commercial property, Lawyers, Engineers, Contractors, Market Research, etc. Where will these resources come from and who will take the risk that these costs to develop this land will not exceed the return?
    As a taxpayer, I believe that our elected officials should not be taking these types of risks in a highly speculative business – something in which they have little to no experience in. Council claims they have been continually told we need to have this type of development yet they are silent on the fact some people are opposed. I attended several Council meetings, one in particular where 100% of the public in attendance opposed the purchasing of this land yet Council proceeded in a very hasty manor to pass all three readings of the Borrowing Bylaw in less than a 3 week period. Seems to me Council has there own agenda.

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