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Downtown revitalization

Airdrie: Downtown differently blue green gradient wordmark

A captivating setting can transport people to another time or place, create a certain mood or atmosphere, and enhance the overall story of a community. Whether it's grand and elaborate or simple and minimalistic, a well-designed and carefully planned area can have a significant positive impact on the lives of those who experience it.

Airdrie City Council has identified Downtown Revitalization as a key focus area. Our goal is to transform the downtown into a vibrant and thriving area that offers a unique blend of proactive investment, strategic location, community engagement, sustainable growth, and collaborative support.

Our aims are clear: we want to double the current development in the downtown by supporting local businesses that want to expand and attracting new investments. We also aim to draw residents by supporting the development of new housing options and invite visitors to the area with exciting new events.

Downtown incentives program

The City has taken a proactive approach to make downtown Airdrie an attractive place for investment with a series of incentives to accelerate downtown redevelopment.

The program aims to help eligible businesses and property owners upgrade their storefronts or buildings, construct new patios, add temporary art installations, purchase new outdoor seating and more. 

The 2024 program opens May 1 and applications will be accepted until all funds have been committed to successful applicants or 4 p.m. Aug. 30, 2024 - whichever is reached first. 

Incentives encourage investment that might not otherwise happen and can be used to promote specific types of development and improvements in an area. 

The goals of the program are to:

  • Retain existing businesses and help attract new types of business that will increase pedestrian presence on the streets.
  • Introduce new features and amenities that create interest and vibrancy, helping transform the downtown core into a place people want to spend time.
  • Improve the aesthetic qualities within the Downtown.
  • Leveraging public funding to spur private investment in the Downtown.

Incentive eligibility:

  • property taxes and municipal utility bills for the property/business must be current and paid in full
  • the property cannot be part of an unresolved enforcement order, such as a stop order
  • the applicant can not be a party to a legal dispute with the City

Downtown revitalization plan

Our Core Strategy: A Revitalization Plan for Downtown Airdrie, adopted by Council in September 2022, encourages us to approach downtown revitalization in a unique way – to “downtown differently”. The plan thoroughly examines the strengths and weaknesses of the downtown and sets ambitious objectives to accelerate development. This work is expected to create between 1,000 and 7,000 new jobs and residents, as well as up to $154 million in new assessment value over the next 10 years.

 Read the Downtown Area Revitalization Plan (pdf)

Community Revitalization Levy (CRL)

Community Revitalization Levies were created by the province to allow municipalities to invest in public infrastructure or take actions necessary to encourage private investment. This is done by using the provincial portion of tax revenues from assessment increases in a specific geographic area.

At a special meeting of Council on December 28, 2022, following a public hearing, the CRL was approved and went into effect on January 1, 2023.

CRL projects will help the City of Airdrie to do “Downtown Differently”.

Learn more about Airdrie’s CRL