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Austin Heights BIA renews five-year mandate with Coquitlam

Coquitlam's one and only business improvement association will reach 20 years of support for its neighbourhood by 2028.
The Austin Heights BIA jurisdiction.

A new five-year mandate has been established between Coquitlam and its only business improvement association (BIA) thanks to a recent bylaw renewal.

This week, the city approved the update that'll direct funding to the Austin Heights BIA in continuing to support local businesses and economic development.

The bylaw will also allow Coquitlam to enable a local area service tax to the neighbourhood, said city economic development manager Andre Isakov in a news release on Tuesday (April 25).

"Established in 2008, the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association has enhanced the vitality and vibrancy of Coquitlam's Austin Heights area through events, safety and beautification initiatives — including graffiti removal, holiday lighting and a street banner program — and partnerships that support the vitality of the neighbourhood and local business community."

A total of 289 businesses are located within the Austin Heights boundaries; between Blue Mountain and Gatensbury streets and Austin and Ridgeway avenues.

Property owners typically pass all or part of the annual BIA levy to the tenants as part of the leasing fee agreements, wrote Coquitlam's city manager Raul Allueva in an earlier report.

Almost 70 commercial property owners were polled in January to see who was in favour of the mandate renewal. The original officially ended on Dec. 31.

That'll stay in place until 2028, which the Austin Heights BIA is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary of service to the southwestern Coquitlam area.

A new five-year financial plan (2023–2028) is also set to be included with the approval.

In November 2022, the BIA's volunteer board of directors voted unanimously in favour of the following:

  • 2023–2024 = $268,809
    • Up 12 per cent
  • 2024–2025 = $301,066
    • Up 12 per cent
  • 2025–2026 = $331,173
    • Up 10 per cent
  • 2026–2027 = $357,666
    • Up eight per cent
  • 2027–2028 = $386,280
    • Up eight per cent

As for 2023 activities, the BIA will split the costs with the municipality for two gateway signs along Austin Avenue to promote the shopping district.

It also hopes to add customized street sign blades with "Austin Heights" at the top, add public art, erect a Christmas tree and launch a parade to kick off HollyDaze.

For more information, you can visit the Austin Heights BIA website.