2016 a Banner Year for Prince George
Prince George, B.C.- With building permit values reaching levels not seen in a decade, 2016 has been a very positive one for Prince George and Mayor Hall is optimistic next year will also be a positive one.
In speaking to the Prince George Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Lyn Hall noted there have been a number of positives including nearly $125 million in building permit values, 75%-85% of which is private investment. That amount of permit values hasn’t been reached since 2007.
But there is more to be done.
While Mayor Hall applauds the level of façade improvements ( 17 façade improvements this year alone) and business development in the downtown, he says the next step will be to secure student housing and subsidized housing in the downtown. “Certainly the biggest priority ( for downtown) is around student housing , I want to be able to enter into a real partnership with CNC and UNBC to provide student housing downtown.”
Student housing is a key to creating a vibrant core says the Mayor “I don’t think it’s any secret that if you want to have a really viable downtown, and I think we are seeing really great investment by folks, we need to try to attract residents to the downtown core. In order for us to do that, we see student housing as being an integral part of that, and we’re working diligently with a developer and an investor, who is very interested in doing that. We’re also not shying away from looking for developers and investors to look at providing market housing. There are two prime locations from our perspective, and that’s 6th and Quebec, and 7th and Victoria. Both of those locations to us, are absolutely prime for the development of market housing.”
He says if the City can “turn the corner” on those particular areas of investment ” We will see a revitalized downtown. That’s not so say there isn’t work to do, there is. We ( the City) own property downtown we need to work on. We need to have a commitment to do things in the downtown core to try to provide the enthusiasm for folks who want to invest.”
He says there will be a focus in the new year on attracting new business and growing the population.
And while celebrating all that has been accomplished in 2016, Mayor Hall is optimistic about the year ahead “2017 is really shaping up to be a very good year for us” says Mayor Hall “Even now, in early December, there are signs that 2017 will be a very good year, and we’ve set the bar pretty high, and we’ll see how we do.