The Edmonton International Airport is Not Being Annexed

We’ve written about the Edmonton annexation process recently, and today marks the resolution of the outstanding airport issue.

First, a bit of history.  The City of Edmonton has been trying to annex the airport going back to 2013.  At that time, they were trying to annex nearly 40,000 acres, including a portion of Nisku that is rich with industrial development.  Naturally, Leduc County was vehemently opposed to conceding such a large tax base.  Both sides softened over the past few years and Edmonton has agreed to lower the amount of land they are looking to annex.  The new proposal was for roughly 23,000 acres of mostly undeveloped land and 7,000 acres for the airport.

While a framework for agreement was signed a couple months ago, both parties acknowledged there needed to be more investigation into “whether or not the City of Edmonton ultimately includes the Airport in its final annexation application”.

It’s obvious to see why the City of Edmonton wants the airport.  It has already been agreed that the annexation will extend from current city limits on 41 ave SW to the airport boundary, so that land will undoubtedly become more valuable as it develops over the next few decades.   It will be quite interesting to see how the City develops neighbourhood and area structure plans in the future.  Will the City look to designate a portion of the annexed land for future industrial development?  If the airport serves as a hub for Alberta Aerotropolis, how much more enticing would land on the west side of the highway be versus land in Nisku and Leduc?  Stated more simply, with all other things being equal, would companies rather be next to the airport or have to cross the highway?  We suspect this has been given some strong consideration, even if it was done in camera at council meetings.  Since we like making predictions, we’re guessing we’ll see a large scale industrial and commercial development immediately north of the airport sometime in the near future.

As of this morning (June 30th), the airport will not officially be annexed but instead become part of an “Inter-Jurisdiction Cooperation Accord“.  The preceding link has more information on this Accord, but here is an overview:

“This accord has its genesis in discussions between Leduc County and the City of Edmonton related to the City’s need to accommodate growth into the future. It became apparent to both early on that they shared the common interest of ensuring that the Edmonton International Airport (the “Airport”) be given the support it needs to optimize its potential including access to services, infrastructure and land use planning so as not to constrain its ability to operate around the clock 365 days per year. In addition, both municipalities recognized that this goal could not be achieved without the active involvement of both the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority (the “Authority”) and the City of Leduc. It is this recognition, as well as shared regional interests that underlies the collaborative foundation of this accord.”

We think the real win for the City of Edmonton is annexing all the land to the north of the Airport while simultaneously getting more influence and control over the airport.

 

 

 


 

Sources:

City of Edmonton, Leduc County

Disclaimer:

Views and opinions are our own and do not represent any company, association or organization and is not intended to be real estate or investment advice.  Information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not warranted to be so.

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