Navneet Singh Bhui sees a notable amount of economic growth and potential in Medicine Hat, namely downtown Medicine Hat. He has a goal of turning downtown from a neighbourhood to an experience that residents and tourists look forward to visiting and can get excited about. A place where people work, live, shop, enjoy and explore.
Owner of the recently revitalized Arcade Plaza building located on 3rd Street, Navneet (who goes by Nav) says in order to make this happen, one person can’t do it all. “We need to work together. We need to do any small part we can to bring downtown alive. If we can provide the right environment, business will come and business will stay. This downtown is due for big growth and given the correct conditions, anything can grow.”
Nav recently used the City of Medicine Hat’s Downtown Development Incentive Program (DDIP) to add new awnings to his building. The facelift was necessary to improve the professional appearance of the building and create a cohesiveness between the various businesses located in the plaza. He also knew this would help the downtown area as a whole if his building was upgraded.
Additionally, Nav purchased and tore down an older home to make room for tenant and customer parking spaces downtown. Plans for another parking lot are on the horizon, currently depending on cash flow from renting out the many offices and suites available at the Arcade Plaza. He is looking forward to applying for the DDIP a second time to assist with some of those costs, as well as installing new energy efficient windows throughout the front of the building.
Speaking on his experience with the DDIP, Nav recommends the program to fellow downtown business owners,
“The city’s incentive program is robust. Everyone was nice and helpful. The system is well organized and there is accountability on completing the projects you apply for.”
Presently, there are $200,000 in grants available annually through the Downtown Development Incentive Program which is intended to provide financial assistance to downtown property owners to want to put their developing, redeveloping and upgrading plans into action.
What’s Nav’s ultimate goal? To create a downtown mall similar to Stephen Avenue in Calgary, where 2nd and 3rd street become walking districts, or at least have slower driving speeds. He believes in the future of downtown Medicine Hat and wants to see it “come alive” with shops, restaurants and thriving businesses.
Interested in becoming a tenant of the Arcade Plaza? Contact Navneet at firstname.lastname@example.org.