A community rich in history has a bright future.
The Town of Fort Macleod in 2010 issued more than $4.2-million in development permits, which continued a strong pace for development.
“I am very pleased to see those numbers,” Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience said. “2010 will go down as one of the top five development years ever here.”
The community realized a record year for development in 2009, with more than $14-million worth of building permits issued.
The strong showing in 2009 eclipsed the record set in 2008, when the town issued building
permits worth $7.55-million.
That kind of development in residential and commercial properties bodes well for the future of Fort Macleod.
Two future projects will also help to spur the local economy.
The Alberta government selected Fort Macleod as the site for the $122-million Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Training Centre, at which 1,350 police and peace officer recruits will be trained each year.
A sod-turning ceremony for the training centre is planned later this summer.
Another project that has huge implications for the future of Fort Macleod is the realignment of Highway 2 and 3 as part of the province’s plans for a freeway that runs uninterrupted from Alaska to the United States border.
Fort Macleod is the only community the freeway is expected to pass through, providing the only highway commercial property potential between Calgary and Coutts.
The highway realignment will open the south side for Fort Macleod for commercial and residential development.
“We look forward to the exciting opportunities that will bring in terms of highway commercial expansion, adding to the community’s already tremendous potential,” Patience said.
The presence of broadband Internet access has also created new opportunities for businesses that translates that it is no longer necessary to be in a major center.
Existing commercial uses have traditionally located adjacent to the highway and in Fort Macleod’s historic downtown district.
Fort Macleod has one of only two provincial historic areas in Alberta.
Within the town is an inventory of commercial lots for development.
West of Midnight Stadium the Town of Fort Macleod owns land along Highway 3 at the most westerly boundary of the community.
There is the potential for almost two square miles of commercial development on the east entrance to town on Highway 3. The area has convenient access to the freeway corridor. Parcel sizes can be customized for a variety of users from 50-acre parcels to one to two acres.
There is a strong potential for the development of a major truck stop and all the spin-off uses from such a development, including truck repair shops, truck washes, container storage and distribution warehousing, which Fort Macleod officials say are excellent and compatible uses for the land adjacent to a major freeway.
The Town of Fort Macleod has the ability to offer all services required including water, sewer, fire suppression, high speed Internet and electrical capacity.
Any major distributor, manufacturer, producer or
service facility that requires full freeway exposure with ease of access and full services is a potential client for this corridor.
At present, industrial development is in the Airport Industrial Park and in linear strips adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway.
The areas south of the proposed Highway 2 and Highway 3 realignment have been identified as future locations where heavy industrial development would be promoted. The area has large tracts of land and excellent access to both rail and highway transportation.
Most properties are on the Multiple Listing Service (www.mls.ca).