BILD Edmonton Metro is new voice of real estate development industry

Canadian Home Builders’ Association Edmonton Region joins forces with Urban Development Institute Edmonton Metro.

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Edmonton’s residential construction industry has a new voice.

Going forward, BILD Edmonton Metro, created by the recent merger of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Edmonton Region and the Urban Development Institute Edmonton Metro, will serve as the unified voice and expert resource for the real estate development industry in the Edmonton metropolitan region.

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“As one organization, home builders, developers, renovators, financial and professional service organizations, trade contractors, and manufacturers and suppliers will work collaboratively to shape and build sustainable and prosperous communities throughout the region,” said Katrina Rowe, chair of BILD Edmonton Metro’s transition board.

The creation of BILD Edmonton Metro, or Building Industry and Land Development Edmonton Metro, follows a trend elsewhere in Alberta where real estate development organizations in Calgary and on the provincial level merged to form similar organizations such as BILD Calgary and BILD Alberta.

“Across Alberta this type of activity has been happening for the last five years or so or maybe a little bit longer,” said Kalen Anderson, BILD Edmonton Metro’s inaugural CEO, noting the creation of the Calgary and Alberta BILDs, among others. “So there is kind of a context, we’re not original. In fact, we’re the last one. It’s also a reflection of the changing nature of the companies that are members of both.”

However, both former organizations were operating from positions of strength, were robust and growing, and were looking at how best to pivot to take what they do to the next level, said Anderson. By merging, the goal is to create an even stronger, more impactful entity.

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CHBA-ER members voted 88.2 per cent in favour of the merger. The number for UDI members was even higher at 92.1 per cent. There was a required threshold of 75 per cent in favour that needed to be met for the merger to proceed.

On the residential side — UDI played a role in the residential segment but also had a scope that included the commercial and industrial sectors — this amalgamation was done with customers and client needs in mind. “We’re all here to build the best possible communities in the Edmonton metro region and whatever we can do to be more strategic, helpful and effective in our work is what underpinned the goal,” said Anderson.

The merger also comes at the right time for Edmonton’s residential housing sector, said Anderson, noting how much growth is happening with the influx of new arrivals to Alberta and the capital region.

“We’re experiencing, currently, the highest growth rate in our province that we’ve had since 1981,” said Anderson. “So, if anything, the home building, the home buying experience will only be ramping up over the years ahead and we want to be ready for that and leading the charge.”

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More than 200,000 people moved to Alberta last year, said Anderson, noting that translates to a 4.4 per cent growth rate.

“Alberta is calling is working,” said Anderson, referring to the provincial advertising campaign to get people to move to the province. “People are answering the call.”

While BILD Edmonton Metro became a reality in mid-May, both former organizations are no longer operating but they’re currently maintaining their old websites for now while a new BILD site is being created. BILD Edmonton Metro also plans to continue most, if not all, of the former groups’ programs and offerings. Over the coming months, the organization’s transition board and Anderson will also develop a strategic plan, and new events and initiatives for its members and the broader city building community.

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