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City takes first place again for Brownfield redevelopment idea
In a ceremony held June 11 in Richmond, the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) awarded its prestigious BC Economic Development Community Project Award (population over 20,000) to the City of Langley for its innovative Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy.
The strategy has the City work with developers to make Brownfield development attractive to investors, taking sites in great locations that could could be turned into valued property. The concept is environmentally friendly as well because it works on existing commercial properties rather than building on farm or forested lots.
The BC Economic Development Awards recognize the province’s best economic development programs, partnerships and marketing materials designed to create positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.
“We are extremely proud of our Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy,” said Acting Mayor Ted Schaffer.
“To be recognized both nationally by the Canadian Urban Institute and now provincially by the British Columbia Economic Development Association is a great honour.”
Schaffer, who noted the strategy is the first of its kind at the local government level in British Columbia, said the purpose of the strategy is to act as a catalyst for “generating new investment and creating additional vitality in the City of Langley.
“We are a small organization but we believe leanness inspires innovation,” added Schaffer.
“The Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy builds on our award-winning Downtown Master Plan and Economic Development Strategy to position the City as a partner in the continued redevelopment of our community.”
The Community Project Award was judged by the extent of the economic impact on its community, such as an increase in the overall tax base, the creation of new jobs, achievement of its stated objective with relevant players and widespread support in the community, innovation, originality, and cost effectiveness
as well as relevance and transferability of elements to other communities.
The recent opening of the Cactus Club Cafe restaurant on the corner of Langley Bypass and 200 Street is such an example of Brownfield redevelopment. That corner once had a mish-mash of older structures, housing everything from mechanics to storage businesses.
Now it is anchored by the Cactus Club and several retail stores.
To date, the City’s Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy has resulted in $192.9 million in new construction and more than 850 jobs.