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Downtown CRL

The Capital City Downtown Plan sets a course for City investment in catalyst projects designed to promote downtown development. Including new pipes, parks and streets, these investments are transforming the heart of Edmonton into a vibrant, accessible and sustainable community.

Council has approved a boundary for the Capital City Downtown CRL. The City estimates that the Capital City Downtown CRL will generate sufficient revenue over its 20 year life to fund approximately $500 million in new infrastructure downtown.

The Boundary

Only areas within the CRL boundary contribute to the Downtown CRL. In 2013, over half of the land in the CRL boundary was vacant or underdeveloped.

Downtown CRL Map

The Projects

  • Rogers Place and related public infrastructure, including the land for the arena, a contribution to the Winter Garden, a MacEwan LRT station connection, and an interior pedestrian walkway;
  • The Downtown Community Arena;
  • Green and walkable downtown, to increase the attractiveness, connectivity and usability of downtown streets by adding wider sidewalks, trees, pedestrian lighting, landscaping, street furnishing and improved paving;
  • Downtown stormwater drainage servicing;
  • Jasper Avenue new vision, to create an attractive and distinctive streetscape along Jasper Avenue;
  • River Valley promenades, which include extending the Heritage Trail;
  • Projects in the Civic Precinct;
  • Warehouse campus neighbourhood central park;
  • Central warehouse housing incentive program; and
  • Edmonton Downtown Academic and Cultural Centre (the Galleria).

The City estimates that the Capital City Downtown CRL will generate sufficient revenue over its 20 year life to fund approximately $500 million in new infrastructure downtown.

The projects have been approved by Council as part of the CRL Plan (Bylaw 16521). Spending for each project will not happen until City Council approves each project’s capital budget.

The Forecasts

The City of Edmonton hired an external, expert consultant, G.P. Rollo & Associates, to complete a development forecast for the CRL. Rollo studied Edmonton’s historic population growth, as well as demand trends for housing, retail and office space to generate the CRL development forecasts.

These projections were used to develop two potential forecasts of future growth for Edmonton’s downtown. One was very conservative, and the other one more likely, according to Rollo.

Over the next 35 years, the conservative forecast predicts development of:

  • nearly 6,000 housing units
  • 1.3 million additional square feet of office space
  • 1.6 million additional square feet of commercial (retail and service) space

Using the conservative forecast, the City calculated two corresponding tax streams:

  • the growth in tax revenues represented by the new construction
  • the growth in property taxes, due to the rise in property values for downtown Edmonton

These two tax streams were used to calculate the “conservative” CRL revenue forecast over the next 20 years.

As an added precaution, the City further lowered its development forecast to 40% of the Rollo forecast. This step further reduces the risks associated with development forecasting.

The CRL funding forecasts are based on only 40% of the growth predicted in Rollo’s conservative model, and still the CRL was calculated to generate, in net present value, $473 million in new taxes over 20 years.

Community Revitalization Levy Revenue Projections*

 Total CRL Revenue (Cumulative)**

High Revenue Scenario

Medium Revenue Scenario

Low Revenue Scenario

Total

$1,156 M

$940.8 M

$597.2 M

Total CRL Revenue (Net Present Value)**

@5.5%

@5.5%

@5.5%

 Total

$577.3 M

$473.6 M

$287.8 M

*Revenue forecasts are determined based on development forecasts provided by G.P. Rollo & Associates. The different scenarios include approximately 20% (low), 40% (medium), and 70% (high) of the forecast for new development over a 20-year period.

**Cumulative revenue is the total amount of revenue the CRL is anticipated to generate over 20 years, while Net Present Value has discounted the future revenue to reflect its current value, as if it existed today.

The Process

The Capital City Downtown CRL is approved. A baseline for assessed property values within the CRL area will be set as of December 31, 2014. Approval steps were:

  • Council has approved the downtown CRL boundary (March 5, 2013)
  • Council approved the list of catalyst projects to be included by the downtown CRL (May 8, 2013)
  • The Province has also approved the regulation for the CRL (July 25, 2013)
  • Council approved the Downtown CRL plan and bylaw (September 17, 2013)
  • The Province approved the CRL bylaw (April 16, 2014)
  • The Downtown CRL was activated and a baseline for assessed property values is set. (December 31, 2014)

For more information:

Online Contact 311 Online
Telephone

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555
Email 311@edmonton.ca