City Wants Your Thoughts on Downtown Housing
Prince George, B.C.- Time is running out to let the City’s Economic Development Department know how you feel about housing in the downtown core.Housing options in the downtown was a frequent theme at the recent TalkTober community engagement sessions hosted by the City at various locations in Prince George. ” We are trying to gather information we can pass on to developers and build a case for people who want to live downtown” says the City of Prince George Economic Development Manager Melissa Barcellos.
Housing in the downtown core has been on the city’s wish list for a number of years and a key component to revitalization says Barcellos “We believe having more people live downtown will impact the sales at stores, restaurants and coffee shops and help to attract more businesses to the area.”
Increased housing in the area is also viewed as a deterrent to crime “Even the perception of safety, if there are more people around, more eyes or witnesses if something happens, or If you’re the only person walking down the street sometimes you feel uncomfortable, regardless of whether or not there is a safety issue.”
During TalkTober events, Barcellos says they received mixed feedback, from those who would like to live in the downtown, and those who don’t, “But what the survey is really for, is if they don’t want to live downtown, it will tell us why and if they do want to, it will tell us what they would require downtown. From a developer’s perspective, they want to know that if they build it, people will come, not just assume that if they build it people will come.”
She says there has been a repeated call for increased student housing in the downtown core “We have found over the years and research that we have done that the younger generation is the one that really wants to live downtown where the nightlife is , where the restaurants are and where things are within walking distance. Students seems to be a pretty good target for that.”
The City has developed incentives to attract developers to build multi-use complexes with commercial on the ground floor and housing on the upper floor or floors as the case may be. The City offers a $10,000 per door for residential, as well as a 10 year tax abatement on the municipal portion of property taxes.
There is an online survey available to speak your mind on downtown housing needs . That survey will only be available until 5 pm Friday, November 4th . The survey can be accessed by clicking here.