Abbotsford: Open for Business

The Abbotsforward OCP Update, the long-term plan for the YXX Airport and the future of investment in Abbotsford were the three major talking points of UDI’s event: Abbotsford Open for Business hosted on April 14th, 2016.

The Abbotsforward OCP

Early 2014, City Council began the process of updating Abbotsford’s official community plan. Community outreach was the first step of the process, with the goal of finding out what Abbotsford’s residents liked and disliked about their city. One finding from this community outreach was that the City of Abbotsford had a reputation of being challenging to work with, specifically with respect to permits, zoning amendments, and licenses. Looking to change this perception, a task force and the CAED (City of Abbotsford Economic Development) committee were formed. Their goals were to help create a better, sustainable future for Abbotsford.

CAED’s first project, in cooperation with the community and other departments at the City, was to continue the process of updating Abbotsford’s official community plan. The plan is what is now known as “Abbotsforward”, which consists of 7 Big Ideas for Abbotsford:

  1. Create a City Centre
  2. Establish distinct and complete neighbourhoods
  3. Make walking, biking and transit Delightful
  4. Make places for people
  5. Improve natural and built systems
  6. Enhance agricultural integrity
  7. Make the plan work

While these 7 Big Ideas were exciting to all parties involved, the next step was following through.

Since 2014, there has been direct input from over 7,000 residents and stakeholders regarding the future of Abbotsford, which culminated into the final draft of the Abbotsforward OCP Update. The updated plan was released early April, this year. The plan addresses the “7 Big Ideas and Goals” while supporting it’s thriving economic sectors: Niche manufacturing, agriculture, technology, and aerospace.The future of YXX Airport

The Future of YXX Airport

Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) is surrounded by over 215 acres of available land. The plan for this area is to continue to attract large industrial uses, focusing on those specifically related to aerospace. One current company occupying land near YXX is Cascade Aerospace, one of the largest employers in the City of Abbotsford. The City is committed to continuing to work with aerospace companies to one day build out the area surrounding YXX with compliment aerospace manufacturing and uses.

Investing in Abbotsford

In 2015, there was approximately $296,000,000 of construction put in for building and/or development permits in Abbotsford. This value includes over 310,000 square feet of approved industrial space, which is the most construction activity Abbotsford has seen in a decade. Abbotsford offers tremendous opportunity for investors and developers due to:

  1. Low construction costs with good soil conditions and available land
  2. Competitive lease rates and City tax incentive programs
  3. Growing and expanding International Airport connecting Abbotsford to a global marketplace
  4. Proximity to Highway 1, Vancouver and the US Border
  5. Development friendly airport and surrounding community

Events like Abbotsford: Open for Business and the bold Abbotsforward plan make it clear that The City of Abbotsford is refusing to be overlooked; the time for Abbotsford is now.

Todd Bohn

Personal Real Estate Corporation

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