Powell River is getting a leg up on two new planning projects, thanks to Island Coastal Economic Trust.
The projects were approved under ICET’s Economic Development Readiness Program.
The ultimate goal is to help maximize the economic potential of city-owned property and develop a new investment attraction tool.
The first project, a comprehensive land strategy, will develop a plan to address investment and redevelopment potential for a large number of vacant or underused properties.
The second one seeks to, ICET says, “develop a modernized approach and tools required to attract new residents, particularly in light of anticipated migration and remote work trends due to COVID-19.”
“The property analysis strategy will enable Powell River to assess new prospects for partnership and redevelopment,” says ICET Board Chair Josie Osborne.
“It also comes on the heels of two previous ICET-supported projects that are supporting the growing tech and creative sectors. Together these projects will drive more environmentally-sustainable economic diversification in the region.”
The land strategy will look at current use and future opportunities for properties identified as having economic development potential.
A thorough review and refinement of land inventory will be carried out, followed by the identification of short, medium and longer-term redevelopment and disposition sites and, finally, an analysis (on select sites) on the highest and best use of the property.
The creation of the strategy and action plan will involve consultation with local stakeholder groups and the public, as well as internal municipal departments.
The second ICET supported project, a new investment attraction research and strategy, will build on the success of a 2014 Resident Attraction Marketing Campaign which saw a rise in both real estate sales and construction starts.
The project will capitalize on growing remote working trends by redefining target markets, messaging and tools to reach its audience most effectively.
A new marketing strategy with an implementation roadmap, a new website with updated content and technology and a rebuild of social media tools are all expected.
According to ICET, this strategy aligns and builds upon substantial progress and work the city has been doing to create new baselines for higher value remote worker and entrepreneur attraction.
“Our original campaign did a great job of attracting new residents to the community who have either brought their jobs or small businesses with them and spurred unprecedented levels of construction in the community,” says Mayor Dave Formosa.
“It’s been six years since it was launched, so it is now time to build a new strategy, tools and messaging for the campaign to keep the momentum going, especially in these uncertain times.”
Both projects are expected to get underway shortly.