In part two of our Meet the Mayor series, we’re featuring Mayor Nicole Read of Maple Ridge, who brings an impressive background in both education and business to this growing city. She holds a Masters of Arts in History from Simon Fraser University, and founded The History Group (THG), which employs more than 100 people in five cities across Canada and has grown to be a foremost provider of project management and historical consulting services in Canada. THG’s year to date revenue for 2013/14 was $2.5 million.
Her experience leaves her well equipped to surge development throughout Maple Ridge, which is high on her priority list. While many municipalities can only consider re-development, Maple Ridge is somewhat of a blank canvas, offering ample space to grow commercial and industrial development. In addition, Maple Ridge has a 10% higher growth rate than the province, and residents are eager for change. The median income is $98K while the average age is 36 years, and because housing is still affordable, many families have money to spend.
As Mayor Read announced at our Breakfast Event, Maple Ridge is “open for business” and has plenty of “cheap land” to do just that. In particular, residents need shopping malls, as the closest options are Coquitlam Centre or Willowbrook Mall in Langley. The newest addition is Walmart, which opened their doors just this week in the former Zellers and Target location at Haney Place Mall.
Mayor Read calls developments like this a welcome addition that will only help their city grow. Other major needs include sports infrastructure in the form of rinks, aquatics, and turf, as Maple Ridge has a well known sports culture that needs the support.
With three years left in office, Mayor Read breathes new life into a city that’s full of possibilities. We’ll be sure to check back at the end of her term to see how much Maple Ridge has changed in both commercial and residential development.