How the Ripple Effect is Shaping South Edmonton

There are developments going on all over Edmonton, but none are as powerful, rapid, and exciting as those happening south of Edmonton. In the last two decades, Edmonton has seen many businesses and communities rooting in the soil south of the Henday. Vast expanses of fields are now bustling community centers. The industrial strength has bolstered residential, commercial, and infrastructure development in the region.

The question is, with so much development occurring, what will all this development look like? Using the ripple effect, we can strongly predict what to expect and how the land south of Edmonton will look like 10 years from now.

What is the Ripple Effect?

You may have heard of the ripple effect before. It’s often talked about in relation to health and wellness, business, and economics. George N. Root IIIexplores the ripple effect in relation to business development. He defines it this way:

“The ripple effect is the notion that a single action has an effect over several different entities. When you drop a pebble in a pond, it creates a series of ripples that span out over the water to move surface plants around and disrupt the animals that may be on the water.”

The ripple effect can also be applied to development. It begins with a small action in a specific area. Eventually, this small action leads to rapid and plentiful growth. It can start with a single development such as a shopping complex or a neighborhood. That first development then creates additional “ripples” of development in the surrounding areas. As developments move outward around that source point, it takes shape in the form of ripples.

There’s a strong psychology behind the ripple effect. When people live somewhere, they want to work, shop, and play there, too. All these activities are attached together by convenience. People typically do not like travelling far to buy something at the grocery store, stop for gas, or commute to work. Time and money are precious commodities, and nearby amenities that offer jobs, products, and services can offer profound savings offer profound savings.

The Story of South Common’s Explosive Growth

Just 20 years ago, South Edmonton Common was in its infancy. Soon after the initial development there was a massive explosion of growth, leading it to become one of North America’s largest outdoor shopping complexes. Now, the complex boasts over 320 acresof shopping, dining, and entertainment space.

The ripple effect was highly visible in South Edmonton Common’s development. The first two brands to buy in were Canadian Tire and Walmart. After these businesses showed signs of major success, other major brands including IKEA, The Brick, and Cineplex Odeon laid down their roots.

The commercial activity in the region spurred on residential development, leading to communities such as Lake Summerside and Aurora to become immensely popular.

The ripples in South Common are ongoing. More recently, it’s become the testing grounds for novel concepts like The Rec Room, the first entertainment complex of its kind opened by Cineplex. The complex had generated significant excitement in 2018 with the opening of Nordstrom Rack. In fact, South Edmonton Common’s ripple effects are extending out into the Edmonton International Corridor, where ripples are moving quickly.

Ripples Extending through the Edmonton International Corridor

The Edmonton International Corridor stretches from 91stStreet to the Edmonton International Airport region. The ripple effect currently underway in the area closely mirrors the expansive growth of South Edmonton Common.

This map clearly outlines the ripples growing in the region. Nearly every area within range of the IEC is under development or has development planned. Residential lots in nearby neighbourhoods are pre-selling rapidly – long before ground has even been broken. High-end retail spaces, business parks, industrial parks, and medical centres are springing up every year.

In fact, there factors at play in the Corridor which could allow it to easily surpass the growth we saw in South Edmonton Common. These include:

  • More available space

  • Room for infrastructure growth

  • The influence of international investors

  • The established economic strengthof nearby industrial communities

  • Room for additional residential developments in the East Vistas

  • Opportunitiesaligned with current transportation infrastructure

The ripple effect has created a sense of security and excitement surrounding the EIC. People and families who lay down roots in the area are forward-thinkers. They understand how the vision of the area will come together rapidly, just as it did in the case of South Edmonton Common. With people already radiating enthusiasm in the infancy stages, imagine what the results will be in the Corridor just 10 years down the road.


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