Building a Vibrant Alberta Street
Since September 2010, Alberta Main Street has been advancing efforts to develop Alberta Street as a vibrant, creative & sustainable commercial district serving residents and visitors to our community. An important aspect of the program is engaging local residents in the future of the district and recruiting businesses to the district that residents will support. Last summer (2012), we conducted a resident and shopper survey seeking your input. Many volunteer hours later, the Business Development Committee is ready to share a summary of the results.
Survey information was mailed to over 7000 households, distributed at local businesses and shared online. We received approximately 600 responses from more than thirteen nearby neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, most of the respondents live in neighborhood closest to Alberta Street: Concordia (37%), King (18.5%), Sabin (13.5%), and Vernon (12.7%). Some additional statistics about the respondents:
- 38% of respondents have lived here 1-5 years, 30% 5-10 years and 10% over 15 years.
- 71% of respondents own their home.
- 73% of respondents identified as female.
- 37% of respondents are 35-44 years old, 35% 25-34 years old
Respondents were asked to identify the top three factors that would have the greatest positive impact on Alberta Street – the top responses were identified as:
- New businesses (55%)
- Less crime/vandalism (48%) and
- More public space (43%).
Some responses garnered almost unanimous agreement – over 90% of respondents always try to buy products and services locally, like to bring out of town guests to Alberta Street and think that the neighborhood is a great place to live and shop.
There was less agreement on the availability of convenient parking and affordable housing with just about 50% agreeing and disagreeing. Responses varied with regard to the importance of the Last Thursday Art Walk (coordinated by Friends of Last Thursday) to the Alberta Street business district – 54% believe it is very important, 31% somewhat important, and 16% not important.
Respondents identified the advantages to shopping or doing personal errands on Alberta Street as supporting local independent businesses (82%) and convenience (67%). The disadvantages were identified as high prices (58%) and limited hours (42%).
The majority of respondents walk (59%) or drive (27%) to Alberta Street and patronize the district primarily on Saturday afternoons (44%) and on weekdays after 6PM (43%).
What’s Missing or Underrepresented on Alberta Street?
Finally, respondents were asked to identify the types of businesses they believe to be missing or underrepresented within the district. Below is a summary of the top responses in each category:
Household Goods: Hardware Store (60%), Garden Supply (40%), Kitchen Store (30%)
Apparel: Men’s Casual (36%), Women’s Casual (34%)
Specialty Shops: Dry Cleaning (40%), Pharmacy (31%), Tailor/Alterations (30%)
Health Services: Dental Care (35%), Vision Care (28%)
Restaurants: Deli (34%), Healthy/Natural (25%)
Leisure/Entertainment: Movie Theater (56%), Children’s Recreation (27%)
(Note, the third highest response was only included if it received a response of at least 25%.)
Alberta Main Street is utilizing this information in conjunction with census data and other market reports to create a localized district market analysis to share with existing business owners and inform future improvements and development on Alberta Street. If you are interested in getting involved with Alberta Main Street, please visit albertamainst.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.