Maple Ridge is lucky to have a downtown area, something that not all surrounding communities can brag about, according to the mayor.
When looking at neighbouring municipalities, Maple Ridge Mayor wondered "where is downtown Coquitlam," or where is the centre of Langley.
"Surrey is trying to recreate what we already have," he said about the downtown core, known historically as Haney.
One key to recent development, however, has been the Town Core Incentive Program, which is now in its third year, and is credited by the municipality as bringing in $77 million building permits and 1,100 residential units.
A Smart Growth on the Ground document from 2003/04 had as a goal to bring 20,000 to 22,000 residents into the town centre.
But, while it's good to have a goal, "sometimes it needs that little nudge," Daykin said.
The "front-end" incentive program for developers to invest money into Maple Ridge has given that nudge to revitalize the core.
And while Daykin said there's no one "magic silver bullet" that will revitalize the area, "it all helps."
"It's cool to see... lots of activity, lots of things going on that weren't happening five years ago," Daykin said.
Over the years as the malls at 203rd and 207th streets developed, it dragged some of business away from the downtown, Daykin pointed out, as people looked for new shopping experiences, to the detriment of the downtown stores.
The incentive program continues throughout 2013, and Daykin called it a "huge success," adding that he thinks it could be used as a model for revitalizing the Albion industrial area or west Maple Ridge.
@ Copyright 2013