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January 2018
This Month's Issue:
Year in Review (2017)
A Year in Review, By the Numbers
by David Howe (

AGLC, South Campbell - Oct 2016

While building permit values dropped again last year in the Edmonton CMA, there is some hope on the provincial horizon with the Alberta recession ending in August 2017 and growth forecasted. Despite the continued depression in the regional economy, St. Albert has managed to show growth in their total building permit values (indicating upcoming or ongoing construction) year-over-year, a unique feat in the region. 2017 was no exception, with total building permit values increasing 7.8% ($20.5 million) to a total of $287.1 million, further proving that developers see St. Albert as a smart and steady investment. This growth was driven be a few notable factors; primarily the commercial and residential sectors of the city saw large gains this year as investors displayed remarkable confidence in the local economy. 

Residential development in the city saw the most growth in value last year, rising $65.8 million to $196.2 million. Not only did the city construct more single-family units in 2017 (144 vs 123 in 2016) but investors also displayed confidence in the multifamily market of the city, building 4 apartment buildings and adding a total of 468 units to the market. This confidence reflects a changing housing market in St. Albert, where new housing types are springing up to meet demand. This was a change that was sought by economic development, as this type of housing is especially important in retaining and attracting the young adult age demographic; one that has typically waned in our city. Notable developments include: the 140-unit Lakeview Apartments, located in Bellevue Village in South Riel; the Giroux Estates buildings in Ville Giroux; and the second phase of the Botanica development along Boudreau Drive.

Commercial building permit value experienced a third straight year of strong growth, adding $22.5 million dollars over 2016 to finish with $62.6 million, the bulk majority of which were entirely new structures. A total of 10 new projects and 41 redevelopments occurred in the city through 2017, reflecting continued industry confidence in St. Albert's retail capacity. Some notable additions to the city include: Lowe's in Erin Ridge North, opening next month; Landmark Cinemas, Brown's Social House, and Canadian Brewhouse in Jensen Lakes Crossing, all opening this year; Canadian Brewhouse in Gateway Village, which opened in December 2017; a hotel in South Campbell; and some very exciting redevelopment at St. Albert Centre that has revitalized and modernized this city landmark.   

Industrial building permits were the only category that saw a decline this year, dropping from $78 million in 2016 to only $7 million in 2017. Though it was a relatively slow year for new projects (only 1 vs 4 total in 2016) much of the value difference is caused by the enormous value of the soon to be complete AGLC warehouse, which was permitted in 2016. Confidence in the sector was still high, as displayed by the sharp value increase in alteration and repair of existing structures last year, $6.2 million compared to just $2.9 million in 2016. Economic development expects this number to rebound in the coming year as the Anthony Henday Business Park in South Riel begins development. 

Institutional building permit values also rose this year, again buoyed by alteration and repair of existing institutional structures in the city ($8.4 million vs  $2.1 million in 2016). Though the raw number of new institutional permits fell from 3 issued in 2016 to 1 issued in 2017, the value of the permit for the new Francophone Sister Alphonse Academy (opening in 2018) in Jensen Lakes was higher than all three issued in the previous year. 

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Alberta Business Confidence Highest it's Been in Three Years
By Nicole Pearson, (

Alberta businesses plan to hire more people and invest in their operations this year, according to a survey by the Business Development Bank of Canada that showed that business confidence in Alberta is the highest it's been since the economic downturn hit three years ago.

According to the survey, investments in small and mid-sized businesses (SME) in Alberta should rise by 12 per cent this year - the second highest increase in the county next to British Columbia at 17 per cent.

"The findings are very encouraging because SME investment is critical to Canada's economic health," says Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC. "These businesses make up 99.7 per cent of all Canadian companies. When they invest, they become more productive and competitive and can offer higher wages and benefits."

The cross-Canada survey asked more than 4,000 business owners about their investment plans for the coming year.  35 per cent of small and mid-sized Alberta businesses said they plan to hire in 2018 and 68 per cent said they expect to see increased revenue.

Business Spotlight On... Angel's Sari Sari Store
by Monty Killoh (

Should you ever find yourself in the Philippines, you may notice an abundance of tiny convenience shops people run out of the front of their homes - known as "sari sari" stores. This concept of a small retail spot is what co-owner Marilou Botio and her sisters wanted to bring to St. Albert in opening Angel's Sari Sari Store: "We wanted to rent a small space to call our own and put in the shelving just like sari sari stores back home. We want to bring the idea from the Philippines and make a similar store here."

Angel's Sari Sari Store is filled with a variety of products from Canada and the Philippines, as Marilou notes: "We have our own Filipino hotdogs and meat, sausages, ice cream, bread, balut (fertilized duck egg), dried taro leaves and fresh baked pandesal (a sweet Filipino Bun) from Loriz, a Filipino Bakery. Filipinos recognize everything here from home!"

On top of the impressive grocery selection, the store offers assistance with money transfers and shipping stuff to the Philippines.

Although you'd expect the majority of her customers would be from the Philippines, Marilou has noticed that the store attracts a lot of curious people walking through downtown: "Lots of people who are walking or passing by stop in - they mostly buy ice cream or rice cakes. Our nuts are also popular for the people who go to the bar next door!"

Marilou and her sisters opened their store in December, and already have plans to expand their selection and services in anticipation of the Summer's festival and market season. "We hope to serve a small amount of hot food in the future; we're in the process of getting the permits. We would be able to promote that during the Farmer's Market."

Angel's Sari Sari Store
29 Perron Street
St. Albert, AB

The Spotlight on Business is a monthly feature wherein we highlight a local business and learn more about what they do and how they positively contribute to the identity and economy of St. Albert. If you, or someone you know, would like to be featured in a future issue, please contact  with a brief description of the organization. 

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New Businesses in St. Albert
Find local companies in our St. Albert Business Directory

Commercial/Industrial Businesses

Black Diamond Distillery Inc                                                                               587-598-2820
200-16 Renault Cres
Micro Distillery, Producing, Packaging and Selling Spirits & Liquors
Bryers Contracting Ltd.                                                                                       780-238-3144
231-200 Carnegie Drive
Supply & Installation of Pre-engineered Building & Exteriors
Freshii                                                                                                                 587-764-0363
330-935 St Albert Trail
Quick Service Healthy Food Option
Phoenix Land Services                                                                                       780-589-4400
200-365 Carleton Drive
Land Broker Services for the Western Canadian
Vitality Health Foods                                                                                            587-290-3663
106-375 St Albert Trail
Vitamins & Herbs

Home-Based Businesses

AD Books                              .                                                                                    780-983-7049
Bookkeeping, Payroll, Account Payable & Receivable, WCB and More
Elster Apparel                                                                                                         780-242-2275
Homemade Clothing and Accessories
Hail Craftsmen                                                                                                        403-472-1223
Mobile PDR Services - Hail Damage Removal of Cars - Contractor
Tall White Latte                                                                                                       780-721-8216
Makeup Artistry and Cosmetic/Beauty Knowledge and Advice. Mobile Business with Home Office

Monthly Growth Stats

Single Family Housing Starts

Single Family Dwelling Resales


Building Permits Issued


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29 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue | St. Albert, AB | T8N 0G3