Ground the City Centre Airport
In my latest column in The Gateway, I talk about Edmonton’s City Centre Airport, and explore the possibility of shutting it down and redeveloping its lands.
Those in favour of closing the airport have proposed a multitude of redevelopment strategies for the land, such as residential and commercial zoning that would bring in millions in new tax revenues. According to a June 2008 report from the City, only $890 000 was collected in associated taxes from the CCA (though the Alberta Enterprise Group claims that it indirectly generates nearly $400 million annually). Under the proposed redevelopment, the City could stand to collect a potential $95 million in direct property tax, not to mention a projected $500 million in “big picture” profits from land sales and further development of current downtown properties, which are now restricted to 150 metres in height by air safety regulations. Without the CCA, everywhere from Manulife Place to Bell Tower could expand upwards rather than outwards in a city that’s already under the strain of urban sprawl.