2016 Construction and business growth report

February 23, 2017

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – While construction growth and business development in Airdrie remained healthy overall in 2016, the local economy was impacted by the Alberta downturn.

“Airdrie has seen impressive growth over the last decade. While 2016 was still a great year in terms of new business openings and retail development, we did finally see some other areas of our economy slow down,” says Kent Rupert, Economic Development Team Leader.

Business licensees were up 5.7 per cent from 3,584 in 2015 to 3,789 in 2016. That included the opening of 96 new commercial/industrial and 381 home-based businesses. This amounted to 512 new full and part time jobs created in the city.

“During economic downturns, it’s common to see new business start-ups, especially for home-based entrepreneurs” explains Rupert. “Our team spent a good deal of time talking to businesses in 2016 – while many were feeling the pain of the provincial economy, we also know that our diversified businesses were weathering the storm, and some are starting to hire again.”

In total, 312 commercial and industrial permits were issued in 2016, an increase of 65 permits from 2015. However, the total value of those permits was down from $71 million in 2015 to $55 million in 2016. The local economy benefited from new commercial developments as well as the construction of two new schools.

Major new developments – estimated construction value*

  • Coopers Crossing including Save on Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart, Shell Gas and 4 strip malls, $25 million
  • K-7 school, Windsong Heights, $13.3 million
  • K-4 school, Herons Crossing addition, $12.4 million
  • Field of Dreams RV, Kings Heights, $3.4 million
  • Strip mall addition, Sierra Springs, $2.6 million
  • Magic Mountain Daycare, Sierra Springs, $2.2 million
  • Strip mall, Midtown, $1.9 million
    *Projects are in differing stages of approval and/or construction.

The housing market saw 1,010 residential permits issued in 2016, down 400 dwellings from 2015. Out of the 1,010 housing permits, 433 were single detached, 395 were semi-detached and 182 were low and medium density apartments. Total residential construction value was $203 million in 2016; down from $298 million in 2015 due to the reduction in the housing market.

“We saw a significant drop in housing permits from 2015. While the multi-family market remained robust, especially in duplexes, we saw a decrease in single family homes. People are looking for more affordable options in this economic climate,” says Pertti Harkonen, Building Inspections Team Leader. “Overall, we fared better than many municipalities, thanks to good institutional growth with the addition of two new schools, and strong year in commercial development.”

For more 2016 statistics, visit Stats & Facts on airdrie.ca or download Economic Development’s Year in Review.


Media contact:

Kent Rupert
Team Leader, Economic Development
403.948.8800 ext. 8738



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