Considering development

This year, more interest has been shown at the municipal development services department.

It is a good sign when developers start to pay attention to properties in Summerland.

In recent years, the recession and its aftermath have taken a toll and as a result, development has slowed considerably.

This year, however, more interest has been shown at the municipal development services department.

At present, it is too early to know whether this increase in interest will translate into a construction boom within the next year or two.

In the past, some plans which showed considerable promise simply did not materialize.

This year, a proposed development along Wharton Street, worth between $90 and $120 million, has been in the plans.

In summer, developers and members of municipal council signed an agreement for the proposed five-storey project, but more work is needed before construction can begin. The developers are hoping to break ground in February and have the first building completed early in 2014.

While it is encouraging to see an interest in development and even more encouraging to see projects under construction, it is also important to remember that development by itself does not create economic growth for a community.

A development may meet a need for residential, commercial, institutional or industrial space, but it will not bring people or businesses to a community.

For that, it is important to have a solid economic strategy, which will then attract the businesses and the developers which will follow them.

The recent interest shown by developers should be seen as a sign that Summerland is working to attract and nurture businesses.

And, as Summerland creates an environment which draws businesses, everyone will benefit.


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