By Dale Woodard on September 24, 2021.
It was a real TRIP, and there will be more with a goal towards shaping the downtown core.
The City of Lethbridge celebrated Six08 Health as its first recipient of the Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program (TRIP) with an official grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon at its downtown location.
With its $4.8 million redevelopment project at 608 5 Avenue South, Six08 Health – formerly East Meets West – is the first business to utilize the new municipal tax relief program.
Six08 Health opened at its new location in May.
“Six08 Health is excited to officially open our doors to southern Alberta, providing patient-centred, collaborative and unified health care,” said Dr. Sean Hantke, Six08 Health’s Clinic Director. “Our model of care is something that has never been done and we’re excited to bring this to the city of Lethbridge, and more specifically, the downtown core. From humble beginnings as East Meets West and almost 20 years in business, we saw the need for facility like this. A project of this magnitude would not be possible without the support and commitment of our patients and staff.”
Construction of the 18,000 square foot clinic began in October of 2019 and was completed in May of this year.
“This building is a result of many people and everybody should be very proud to have had a part in making this vision a reality,” said Hantke. “When we first set on this journey our challenge was to find a large enough building with easy accessibility and parking. We not only had to identify a suitable building, but also a location that would strategically cater to the future needs of our growing community. We agree the downtown core would be the perfect location. Supported by the City of Lethbridge and the Downtown Revitalization Program, our gravitation towards improving core downtown business service as well as improving the visual footprint our city became paramount and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
A benefit of TRIP to the City is that once the short-term cancellation period is over, a far greater amount of taxes are received due to the increased value of the property.
For the Six08 Health project, the City will receive an estimated $88,000 more in annual taxes than what was being received prior to construction. This is income that will be received every year following the seven-year cancellation period.
Six08 Health will bring together a multitude of health care professionals including massage, acupuncture, chiropractor, physiotherapy, naturopathic medicine, speech pathology, psychology, dental and dental hygiene, medical aesthetics, fitness, family and GI specialty medical, pharmacy, and supervised childcare.
The unified team will have the common goal of providing optimal patient-centered care within a new state-of-the-art facility in downtown Lethbridge.
“The model of Six08 Health is a different style of health care in the sense we’re all one big team,” said Hantke, adding Six08 Health has about 65 employees on staff. “We all collaborate and work together to find the best collaborative plans for our patient and a collaborative treatment plan. Rather than operating in independent silos, we operate more as a team. With a person’s health, you need multiple professionals to deal with a lot of different ailments a lot of the time. We have all of that under one roof.”
Lorien Johansen, chair of the Heart of Our City Committee, said the project has been 10 years in the making.
“This is the realization of our program that several committees and several city councils have worked on. It supports several of our pillars for Heart Of Our City, the vibrancy being probably the most important and easily recognizable one. It’s just really gratifying to be able to see an opening of something we worked so long and so hard on and to be here to be able to congratulate everybody and to see our dream finally realized is amazing.”
Johansen said there are more TRIP projects in the pipeline.
“They’re moving through the same process this one did.”
Mike Prociw, market intelligence advisor with Economic Development Lethbridge and a Heart Of The City board member, noted the culmination of Thursday’s grand opening and an increased business presence downtown.
“This is great for the downtown and great for the community and something we hope to see and facilitate more of moving forward,” he said. “I think it’s a great template and it sets a good model for future development and hopefully encourages others to seek some more opportunities.”
Hantke looked forward to being a part of the downtown community.
“Obviously, with the state of downtown in the previous years, we’re excited to hopefully be the catalyst to improve the downtown facade and the downtown core. So far so good, so good. We’ve really enjoyed being a part of the downtown.”
TRIP is available for projects with a minimum construction value of $500,000.
For more information on this and other downtown incentive programs visit http://www.lethbridge.ca/downtownincentives.
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