Downtown Economic Incentives

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Downtown Economic Incentives

The following grants and rebates are available to businesses owners and developers located in the Greater Downtown Area, which includes Historic Downtown, Business Improvement Area (BIA), Capstone and Railyards. The application form is available at the bottom of this page.

Download a printable version of the Downtown Economic Incentives Program information (pdf)

Façade and Storefront Improvement Rebate
Downtown Pride

To increase a sense of downtown pride through an investment in beautification and timely restoration of property, The City of Red Deer is offering a matching rebate for façade, signage or security-related improvements.

This program supports the addition of inviting and engaging storefronts that are aesthetically pleasing and, ultimately, maximize the appeal of our downtown.

Examples of approved projects may include: exterior enhancements to an existing property, signage improvements, or implementation of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) recommendations.

Funding

This program provides a matching (50% of total costs) rebate up to*:

  • a maximum of $20,000 for upgrades to a single façade;
  • a maximum of $30,000 for properties with two street facing façades;
  • a maximum of $2,500 for perpendicular signage improvements;
  • a maximum of $10,000 for CPTED improvements

* Please note: applications for each of these rebates may be submitted for a single location.

Terms and information

In addition to the General Terms and Information described on this page, the following apply to this funding program:

  • CPTED improvements must meet intent of C1 design guidelines
  • CPTED improvements must be derived from recommendations of a certified CPTED practitioner. Note: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre offers free CPTED assessments
  • Security cameras are eligible for this funding program
  • Shutters, bars or other forms of “defensive architecture” will not be funded
  • Fund recipients will be required to provide The City of Red Deer with “before” and “after” photos of funded improvements.
Environmental Site Assessment Rebate
Spurring Investment in Brownfield and Underutilized Sites

To support property owners of confirmed or suspected contaminated sites that are being considered for potential development, The City of Red Deer is offering a partial rebate for Phase 1 or Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) costs.

The program will assist property owners to understand the environmental condition of lands they wish to redevelop by providing a rebate to cover a portion of costs related to Phase 1 and/or 2 Environmental Site Assessments. Resources allocated for the completion of ESAs will assist in facilitating the sale and redevelopment of suspected brownfield properties.

Funding

This program provides a rebate to property owners in the following amounts:

  • Phase 1 ESA: 80% of the cost, to a maximum of $5,000
  • Phase 2 ESA: 50% of the cost, to a maximum of $20,000

Eligibility

  • Only commercial or multi-family zoned properties within the Greater Downtown Area are eligible for this program
  • Eligible where Phase 1 or Phase 2 ESA with current data is/are required to have been completed within the past year
  • Eligible where Phase 1 or Phase 2 ESA have been identified as a condition of an existing development permit

Terms and information

In addition to the General Terms and Information described on this page, the following apply to this funding program:

  • The City of Red Deer will be provided a copy of completed Phase 1 or Phase 2 ESA as part of this program
Demolition of Vacant and Derelict Properties Rebate
Spurring Investment in Underutilized Sites

To assist property owners in the downtown with costs related to demolishing structures that are no longer occupied or viable for future investment or use, The City of Red Deer is offering a partial rebate for demolition costs.

The program will facilitate the sale or redevelopment of these sites to promote environmentally and economically vibrant, healthy and aesthetically appealing public spaces in our downtown.

Funding

This program provides a rebate for up to 50% of costs to demolish vacant and/or derelict buildings up to a maximum of $25,000 per project.

Eligibility

  • Only commercial or multi-family uses within the Greater Downtown Area are eligible for this program. Funding is not available for single family (R1) or duplex projects.
  • Applicant is prepared to landscape in interim redevelopment

Terms and information

In addition to the General Terms and Information described on this page, the following apply to this funding program:

  • Demolition Permit fee will be waived for successful applicants
  • Three professional quotes for demolition-related costs (see eligible expenses below) are required to be eligible for approval
  • Demolition must be followed by landscaping requirements identified in the Development Permit if the redevelopment timeline is not known

Eligible expenses

  • Demolition costs
  • Utility disconnection fees
  • Risk abatement studies or materials
  • Tipping fees

Application requirements

In addition to a completed application form, applicants must provide (at the time of application) the following:

  • Receipts and/or proof of payment
  • Demolition permit number
  • Copy of title
  • Redevelopment plans, if applicable
  • Related permit numbers
Utility Connection Fee Rebate
Increasing Certainty

To support property owners who are required to replace or upgrade water, wastewater or electrical utility connections as part of developing or redeveloping on their property, The City of Red Deer is offering a partial rebate for utility upgrade and/or replacement costs.

The program will help provide increased certainty related to the costs of investing in our Greater Downtown Area to encourage investment and vibrancy.

Funding

This program provides a rebate of up to 50% of the total costs to replace or upgrade water, wastewater or electrical utility connections, up to a maximum of $20,000.

If an applicant is receiving a subsidy per the Utility Bylaw, program funds may be applied to 50% of the remaining portion of non-subsidized costs.

Eligibility

Only commercial or multi-family uses within the Greater Downtown Area are eligible for this program. Funding is not available to single family (R1) or duplex projects.

Terms and information

In addition to the General Terms and Information described on this page, the following apply to this funding program:

  • Demolition Permit fee will be waived for successful applicants, where demolition is to occur

Application requirements

In addition to a completed application form, applicants must provide (at the time of application) the following:

  • Copy of title
  • Redevelopment plans
  • Related permit numbers
Residential and Mixed Use Development Grant
Fostering Activity in the Downtown

To promote the development of newly constructed multifamily residential and/or mixed use (commercial and residential in same building) projects in our greater Downtown Area, The City of Red Deer is offering a lump sum grant for new construction projects.

The program will make it easy for residents to choose to live in our city’s core, along with increasing activity and growth opportunities for our city’s businesses in the downtown.

Funding

This program provides funding in the following amounts:

Construction ValueGrant Amount
<$1 million $50,000
$1-4 million $150,000
>$4 million $250,000

Eligibility Criteria

  • Only mixed use or multi-family uses within the Greater Downtown Area are eligible for this program
  • Eligible projects include construction of new self-contained medium to high density residential and mixed-use dwelling units
  • Renovation to dwelling units that were in existence prior to adoption of this policy are ineligible as the program targets new development or redevelopment within the downtown
  • Projects where rent or sale value is subsidized by any government entity, non-profit organization or cooperative, or where tax relief is provided, are ineligible for this program
  • Should there be inadequate funding to meet demand, applications will be held in a queue and processed in chronological order by submission date if additional funding becomes available
  • Projects must be a minimum of two stories in height
  • Units must be at least 600 square feet in size
  • Projects must incorporate a variety of unit sizes and overall, units must average 800 square feet in size.
  • Construction must meet all applicable building safety codes, development requirements and comply with Land Use Bylaw requirements upon completion
  • If any Development Permit or Building Safety Code Permit lapses, eligibility for funding will cease and the project will lose its place in the queue. A proponent may reapply for the program but must requalify and re-queue.

Intake Periods

  • February 15 to March 15, 2020
  • July 1 to August 1, 2020 (contingent on remaining fund availability)

Eligible Area

While the entire Greater Downtown Area is eligible, priority scores will be given to properties that meet one or more of the following location criteria:

To maximize the impact of available funds, priority scores will be given to properties that are beside other properties undergoing improvements.

Downtown Economic Incentive Program Map

General eligibility criteria

  • Only complete applications will be considered for approval
  • Applications must be submitted during one of two intake periods (February 15 to March 15, 2020 or July 1 to August 1, 2020)
  • These programs are available to property owners within the Greater Downtown Area
  • These programs may be available to business owners within the Greater Downtown Area, with the written approval of the property owner
  • Applicant or property owner must not be in arrears in municipal taxes or utilities, or any other municipal charge
  • Property must meet all applicable building safety codes and development requirements and must comply with zoning requirements upon completion
  • Work that is underway at the time of application, or that had occurred prior to application, is not considered eligible

General terms and information

  • Confirmation of approval will be provided to successful applicants. Funds will be paid upon submission of paid invoices with receipt or processed cheque showing payment with the exception of the residential program.
  • Decisions will be communicated to applicants within 15 working days following the closing of the intake period.
  • Funds are not awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, but will be reviewed and scored following the closing of each intake period.
  • The adjudication process includes the use of priority selection criteria per Downtown Economic Incentive Program Scoring Matrix (pdf)  
  • Successful applicants will be required to enter into an agreement with The City of Red Deer.

Application form

Please fully complete the following application form and indicate which programs you wish to apply for. Some funding programs require additional documents – please ensure these are submitted with your application.

Download the Application Form or Fill out the Online Application Form

Downtown Economic Incentive Program Scoring Matrix (pdf)
Downtown Economic Incentive Program Priority Street and Key Downtown Districts (pdf)

For questions about your application, please contact Planning Services at 403-406-8700 or planning@reddeer.ca

News & Notices

Justice, health and social ...

February 18, 2020

With the speech from the throne and provincial budget anticipated this month, Red Deer City Council and administration will listen closely for some key items around justice, health, social and general municipal infrastructure.

New utility rates take effect March 1

February 18, 2020

At this afternoon’s regular Council Meeting, Red Deer City Council passed amendments to the Utility Bylaw which will see a slight rate increase set to take effect March 1.