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Lethbridge ‘gets the ball rolling’: first downtown TRIP project begins construction

Lethbridge ‘gets the ball rolling’ as first TRIP project begins construction
On Tuesday, the City of Lethbridge announced construction has begun on the first ever TRIP project. The TRIP program was first approved in 2015 and didn’t see any applications approved until this year. Emily Olsen reports.

The City of Lethbridge announced construction on the first ever TRIP project Tuesday morning.

East Meets West healthcare services will be rebranding as Six08 Health and moving to the city’s core in 2020, following a $4.8 million redevelopment project at its new Fifth Ave. South location.

CEO and Clinical Director Dr. Sean Hentke says the program made it an easy step for his business to take.

“The city’s been great to work with,” Hentke said.

“The TRIP policy was really that incentive we needed to solidify our decision to move this clinic downtown.

“I always knew the clinic belonged in the heart and core of the city,” Hentke said.

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READ MORE: $680K tax break included in first approved TRIP development downtown

The Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program was created by city council and the Heart of Our City Committee in 2015 to provide tax incentives for businesses looking to renovate or build downtown.

Due to tight restrictions in the original plan, businesses struggled to meet application standards like budget or building technicalities, until a revamp of TRIP was done in 2017 and again in 2018.

READ MORE: Heart of Our City Committee presents council with annual downtown Lethbridge review

“We want to support businesses that are in Lethbridge and are looking to expand but we’re also looking to attract new business and we’re hoping that people are looking to call Lethbridge home and also downtown home,” said Andrew Malcom, the City of Lethbridge Urban Revitalization Manager.

“We’re hoping that this gets the ball rolling.”

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With construction slated to be completed in the spring, plans are already in motion.

Hentke says the next phase of his project will be redeveloping the space and adding a second storey.

According to city officials, more businesses could soon be following suit.

“For the downtown it’s a big piece because we’ve seen a lot of very important public investment,” Malcolm said.

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“In terms of the new Park N’ Ride, the Third Avenue project which is slated for construction to start next year, and just a lot of work that the city and the Heart Of Our City Committee has put into the downtown of the city for the last few years.”

“We believe this is the first domino of many to fall and that things are going to start picking up in the downtown.”

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