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October 27, 2017 9:30 pm

Prince George – Things are Happening Here

Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.- Over the past  few months,  developers have  been vocal  with their praise for the  Development and Planning  Department at  Prince George City Hall,  saying it is clear Prince George is open for business.  The number of projects underway would underscore  those comments.The Marriott hotel,  additions to the Downtown energy system,  development  of the Inland Kenworth site on 97 south,   and of course the  Riverbend Seniors  complex are some of the projects sparking activity in the City.

Building permits are up.  Year to date  numbers show permits for new single family dwellings  as of the end of June (78)  were about  four times what they were last year (18) and the year before (22) for the same six month period.

When you look at permits for  all categories for the same time period, there have been  218 permits issued  compared to  80  for the first six months of last year, and 121 in the same period in 2014.

What’s driving the  action?   Mayor Lyn Hall says  it may be partly  a result of a positive Conference Board of Canada  report “When they  came out with their report showing Prince George as the top economic community   based on comparables throughout  the country, I think people are realizing that we are  truly  a hub city, we are truly  the Northern capital, and we’re a great centre to access the northeast and the northwest of the province   where at some point, there could be a tremendous  amount of work on LNG  and of course, Site C, mining. I think people have just taken notice.”

Manager of Economic Development for the City, Melissa Barcellos says the activity doesn’t stop  with  new  construction,  as vacancy rates in the downtown   have been declining over the past few years  and  for the first time in a long time,  there is no vacancy  on 4th Avenue.     The Move Up Prince George campaign,  designed to  bring awareness of the  advantages of living and working in P.G.,  is paying off  says Barcellos  including media interest from other markets such as a recent  article  about Prince George  in the Globe and Mail  and  a feature on a Vancouver  radio station .

There have been three calls this week alone from people looking to  relocate to P.G.  says Barcellos “The fact that they are actually reaching out to us and making that phone  call shows us they are serious.  I can only imagine how many people are thinking about it but not making the call.”

She says  companies  posting job listings report 14% of the hires they have made  have come  from out of town.

The Move Up Prince George website  itself  has been recognized as stellar   “It has been  given a gold  award  from the International Economic Development Council  in the  category of Special Purpose Website”.   She says   that in less than two years since that website was launched,  there have been nearly 135 thousand unique  visitors, and  they are coming from the target markets of Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Surrey.  Most who visit the site are between the ages of 25 and 44,  “Which is exactly our target audience” says Barcellos. While there is also a great deal of traffic to the site from Prince George she says that’s a good thing too “It was designed to change the perceptions of Prince George and make them more accurate and more recently we are  trying to do more locally to contribute to the community spirit that we’re seeing in town and the positivity locally.”

Mayor Hall says Prince  George has  the complete package, “Housing is affordable,   there  are opportunities for employment, for opening up a business here,  there are educational opportunities for children  it has the entire package right here.”   He says he is  excited about seeing what the latest census will show for population numbers in Prince George “I am pretty excited and will  have to wait a bit longer to see what Stats Canada will  come up with, but I think we will ( see population growth)   I don’t even want to hazard a guess as to what that number might be,  but I think we will see some growth.”




This is welcome news. Let’s keep it going PG.

I walk around downtown and some of the businesses are actually doing reno’s to the outside of their buildings which is very nice to see.

Now if we could just get the city to clear the sidewalks of all the weeds growing there it might start to look nice.

I continue to see some weeds the size of small children. Surely the city can put one worker on clean up duty through the summer.

Make PG beautiful.

    Exactly right on the weeds as big as small children. I have been to every city in BC and only PG is waist deep in weeds on almost every median outside of the downtown. Buy a cordless weed walker and some weed poison and get on it city hall.

    If I had an award to give out for merit this week it would probably go out to that guy that’s been cleaning up the weeds on the roads side between PG and Vanderhoof the last few months. What a job especially in this weather and I don’t think that guy ever takes a break or a day off. Hire him when he’s done to clean up the road side and medians inside the city IMO.

    Perception means everything and PG’s unmaintained road side says it all about our own self worth as a community… As seen from anyone that visits this city.

    Ya the city is proud of their banners and hanging flower pots but then look at the ground, weeds, weeds everywhere. Nice traffic islands that cost serous money then leave them to be covered with weeds, duh.

      It is not just PG where weeds are allowed to grow, Cities everywhere are scared to offend the greenies by spraying a chemical that actually kills something. Nowadays nothing works anyway, I used Killex on my sidewalk and I think it actually made the weeds grow!

      Out where I live Bull Thistle and Hockweed galore. Every year we go on a weed cleansing but if your neighbours refuse to do their part, how do you control it. Everyone has to take some responsibility and help eradicate these invasive plants. This includes the CN RAIL corridor.

      Ordinary white vinegar (formulated for cleaning) will kill weeds like magic!

PG is growing traffic flow is increasing, new subdivisions being built, long overdue deceleration and acceleration lanes being built, people are stopping here instead of using the city as a pass through city, new hotels being built, businesses are coming back to town basically things are happening here which is good to see.

Unfortunately There will always be a segment of our city population that can’t see this and probably never will but that is their choice I for one am happy to see the growth and increased interest in the city

    Return to normal growth is all. Town still seems much smaller population wise than it was twenty years ago when we had thirty percent more people living here. Our youth population is half what it was in 1990 and that is the future of any community.

    I look to see school numbers as the prime indicator of PG’s return to healthy growth. Less than half now what they once were. Maybe some growth in quality night clubs too would be a leading indicator.

Seems to me the Inland Kenworth project has been on the books for a number of years and is finally going ahead. Same thing for the Marriott Hotel project. Sat idle for at least two years maybe more.

The River Bend Seniors residence is a good thing from a construction point of view, however it also shows that the Prince George population is aging.

A number of these permits were issued for home renovations.

In any event I agree that there have been a number of jobs created with these projects going forward, and that’s a good thing, however I don’t see anything on the horizon that would indicate we will be getting any long term, high paying jobs in this area.

If we want people to locate here we need to have jobs for them. My question is. Where are these jobs??

The census population numbers should be out in February and we will see if we have an increase in population.

Population increase does not necessarily mean that people will be working or buying houses. They could be renting, and staying in apartments.

It would be nice to know who is building the new houses, where they came from, that is, whether they are local or out of towners, etc; etc;. This information would give us a much better idea as to whats actually happening in Prince George.

Could Melissa with Economic Development explain the methodology her department used to determine visitors to the Move Up PG website are in the 25-44 target audience?

I hope it continues as we will be selling next year and moving, so hope property values continue to rise.

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