Leading Forward Economic Incentives

To increase vibrancy and generate economic benefits, The City of Red Deer launched the Leading Forward Economic Incentives program in spring 2021.
Leading Forward Economic Incentives Program - Advancing Red Deer as an Economic Leader

The program included three funding opportunities for property owners and developers, including:

  1. Demolition of Vacant and Derelict Properties Rebate – City-wide
  2. Residential and Mixed Use Development Grant – Greater Downtown Area
  3. New Multifamily Residential Units in an Existing Building Grant – Greater Downtown Area

Thank you to everyone who applied for funding through this program. The application deadline has passed and submissions are being reviewed.

Residential and Mixed Use Development Grant – Greater Downtown Area
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 (pdf) , 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 greater downtown.

Funding

This program may provide 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 zoned properties within the Greater Downtown Area (pdf) are eligible for this program
  • Eligible projects shall consist of the construction of new self-contained medium-to-high density residential and mixed-use dwelling units
  • Renovations to dwelling units that were in existence prior to adoption of this program are ineligible due to the program targeting new development or redevelopment within the downtown
  • Projects, where rent or sale value is subsidized by any government entity, a non-profit organization or a cooperative, or where tax relief is provided, are ineligible for this program
  • Projects must be a minimum of two storeys in height
  • Units must be at least 600 square feet
  • Projects must incorporate a variety of unit sizes
  • Overall, units must average 800 square feet
  • Construction must meet all applicable building safety codes, development requirements and comply with Land Use Bylaw requirements upon completion

Eligible expenses

  • Architect fees
  • Engineering fees
  • Construction or building expenses
  • Utility infrastructure upgrades
  • Project permit fees (development permit, building permit and/or other permit fees required for the installation of related building services)
New Multifamily Residential Units in an Existing Building Grant – Greater Downtown Area
Fostering activity in the downtown

To promote the development of quality housing options in our downtown, The City of Red Deer is offering a per-unit grant for developers who wish to upgrade existing structures to create new, quality residential units within existing buildings.

The program will support property owners in developing new residential units in existing spaces where a new build is not feasible or necessary, with the goal of increasing our city’s housing stock and promoting positive activity in the greater downtown that will foster growth opportunities for downtown businesses.

Funding

This program may provide funding in the following amounts:

  • $10,000 per-unit lump sum grant for each project, up to a maximum of $50,000 per project

Eligibility criteria

  • Projects shall consist of new, self-contained market residential dwelling units in existing buildings only
  • Units must have a minimum area of 600 ft² (55.7m²) and an average area of 800 ft² (74.3m²) within the project
  • Renovations of existing dwelling units (in existence prior to intake start) are not eligible for funding
  • The registered owner(s) of the property, at the time of project approval, is/are eligible for funding
  • Only mixed use or multi-family zoned properties within the Greater Downtown Area (pdf) are eligible for this program
  • Projects where rent or sale value is subsidized by any government entity, a not-for-profit organization or a cooperative, are not eligible for this program
  • Construction must meet all applicable building safety codes, developmental requirements and comply with Land Use Bylaw requirements upon completion

Eligible expenses

  • Architect fees
  • Engineering fees
  • Construction or building expenses
  • Utility infrastructure upgrades
  • Project permit fees (development permit, building permit and/or other permit fees required for the installation of related building services)
Demolition of Vacant and Derelict Properties Rebate – City-wide
Spurring investment in underutilized sites

To assist property owners 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 city.

Funding

This program may provide 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 criteria

Only commercial or multi-family zoned properties are eligible for this program. Funding is not available for 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
  • Three professional quotes for demolition-related costs (see eligible expenses below) are required to be eligible for pre-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

Previous Intakes

The original Downtown Economic Incentives Program, launched in 2020, supported 33 downtown development projects across five funding opportunities. The program achieved the intended objectives of supporting downtown businesses to revitalize their locations, fostering safe and appealing public spaces, creating quality housing options in our downtown, and promoting a business and development friendly atmosphere in our city.

The City is proud to continue creating economic funding opportunities for Red Deer’s businesses, and pleased to expand the program with the Leading Forward Economic Incentives Program.

Read on for more information on how this program is supporting Red Deer’s economic future.

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 a partial rebate for Phase 1 or Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) costs was offered.

  • Three applications were received and approved, totalling $8,900 in funding support
  • Estimated private investment leveraged from this funding is $90,000
Demolition of Vacant and Derelict Properties Rebate
Spurring Investment in Underutilized Sites

To assist downtown property owners with costs related to demolishing structures that are no longer occupied or viable for future investment or use, a partial rebate for demolition costs was offered.

  • Three applications were received and approved, totalling $65,000 in funding support
  • Estimated private investment leveraged from this funding is $3 million
  • Two high profile demolitions occurred as a result of funding from this program
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, a partial rebate for utility upgrade was offered.

  • Three of five applications received were approved, totalling $45,900 in funding support
  • Estimated private investment leveraged from this funding is a portion of the $2-8 million generated in conjunction with the Residential and Mixed Use Development grant
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 the greater downtown, a lump sum grant for new construction projects was offered.

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

  • Two of six applications received were approved, totalling $300,000 in funding support
  • Estimated private investment leveraged from this funding is in the range of $2-8 million, plus an increase in assessed value of these lands
  • 15 new residential units have been added to downtown as a result of funding from this program
Façade and Storefront Improvement Rebate
Downtown Pride

To increase a sense of downtown pride through an investment in beautification and timely restoration of property, a matching rebate for façade, signage or security-related improvements was offered.

This category supports the addition of inviting and engaging storefronts that are aesthetically pleasing and help to maximize the appeal of our downtown.

  • 26 eligible applications were received and approved, as a result of Council approval to reallocate funds from undersubscribed areas of this program, totalling $325,000 in funding support
  • 10 Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design assessments were conducted on downtown properties by the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre through this incentive
  • Estimated private investment leveraged from this funding is $705,000