Niagara is surrounded by waterfront and it’s various inlets, rivers and creeks help to round out a compilation of desirable and valuable waterfront properties throughout the region.
Over the past year, with Niagara growth expectations rising, there has been a shift at the regional level along with a narrowing priority point that centres on economic development, growth and regional prosperity. Because of this direction, waterfront land has recently become a major economic priority for the region. With plenty of opportunity for residential and commercial development along Niagara's waters this is a necessary action plan to continue to encourage and spur private development.
Niagara Lakefront Enhancement Strategy
In 2010, key community leaders came together to ensure that a Niagara waterfront strategy was prioritized in the region’s 2012-2015 business plan. From this strategy, a focus was centered around enhancing public access to Niagara’s waterfronts and revitalizing/creating waterfront amenities.
Lakefront Enhancement Incentive Program
A lakefront enhancement incentive program was established alongside the Lakefront Enhancement Strategy. Incentives were available to the seven lakefront municipalities and provided a 50% matching contribution to a program/development up to $100,000. Private developers were able to apply, as were the NPCA and Niagara Region itself with municipal council backing.
Many believed that through this strategy the region would focus on banking funds to allow the public purchase of key lakefront land. Since 2014, this program has assisted lakefront projects in Port Colborne and Wainfleet.
New Niagara Waterfront Investment Program
In late March the region’s planning and development committee approved a reshift in the focus of the current lakefront strategy by merging it with theWaterfront Enhancement Strategy. This new strategy along with a new ‘Waterfront Investment Program’ will focus on boosting the local economy by providing opportunity for prosperity. The new program was developed to align with the region's focused goal of stimulating investment, growth and economic development.
With the current program on hold, the region will begin accepting applications in July of this year.
Waterfront development in Niagara
Over the past few years, major commercial and residential development projects have been proposed and constructed along Niagara's waterfront, Port Place and Grimby's condo boom come to mind. There are a number of communities, Grimsby, Welland and Port Dalhousie inparticular, that are pushing for significant commercial and residential development on their available waterfront properties. Many times this push is complimented by a city-led waterfront master plan.
To learn more about Niagara's waterfront properties and available land connect with me here.