At the risk of letting our pride show, last week’s announcement that Chilliwack has cracked the Top 10 list of investment-friendly cities in B.C. comes as no surprise. (See story, front page.)
What’s curious is that it took this long.
Economic stability, affordability, tax incentives, and a promising future all combined to rank Chilliwack eighth in the province, according to the Real Estate Investment Network, described as ‘Canada’s leading resource center for real estate investors’.
The city had been on the association’s radar before, but this is the first time it has cracked the Top 10.
It comes as economies are still clawing their way out of the fiscal morass spawned by the global economic meltdown of 2008.
Chilliwack was not immune, but it did fare better than most cities thanks to the health and vibrancy of its agriculture sector.
That, combined with thoughtful planning and a business friendly attitude, has helped Chilliwack continue to move forward while other cities sat stagnant.
Certainly more work needs to be done, particularly in the downtown where the pace of redevelopment is seen by many as glacial.
But as Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz points out, being named as one of the Top 10 cities for investment is something Chilliwack can build on. It’s the kind of independent endorsement that can get investors looking to Chilliwack as the city works to reshape its downtown core.
And there’s lots they will find. Aside from investment incentives downtown, there are also incentives for development in the city’s industrial properties.
Chilliwack’s retail landscape, meanwhile, continues to evolve, with substantial redevelopment taking place at Cottonwood Mall and the continued build-out at Eagle Landing.
Residential construction continues in several quarters. And the recently announced expansion of the agriculture department the UFV campus at Canada Education Park is further evidence of sustained growth in education.
What this means for Chilliwack is a more stable and diversified local economy.
And that’s something all of us have an investment in.