By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Independent
A commercial market analysis commissioned by the Stettler Board of Trade and the Town of Stettler was presented to council during their latest meeting.
The analysis was undertaken by urbanMetrics Inc. to answer several questions about the community, such as the key demographics, who relies on the Town’s facilities, delineating the Town’s trade area, and what attractions there are to grow business in the community.
Seventy-five businesses and 300 people filled out surveys as part of the analysis.
According to the analysis, Stettler can look forward to slow and stable growth, with the population of the trade-area bumping over 13,000 residents by 2041, with over half of this growth occurring in Stettler.
Correspondingly, jobs in Stettler are expected to climb to just shy of 4,000, growing by 600 in town, and by 90 in the County of Stettler.
As for commercial property in Town, the study found that 6.2 per cent of the available commercial space is vacant, which, “Is indicative of a healthy and balanced commercial environment.”
The report also found that the community could comfortably add 46,000 to 70,000 sq. ft. of commercial space by 2041.
The report also noted a more than adequate supply of industrial land in the community.
In total, eight recommendations came out of the report, some of which the Town is already doing.
“It is really reassuring to (see) areas where we can focus to grow better,” said Coun. Gord Lawlor.
“(The report) is telling us things we already know, but in a way that is usable.”
Mayor Sean Nolls agreed.
“This is exactly what we need,” said Nolls. “It’s really great to have this data. I’m glad to see this progress forward, and all the hard work you guys have done.”
The analysis was presented to council by Leann Graham, director of Planning and Development and outgoing Executive Director of Stettler Board of Trade Stacey Benjamin.