While there’s justifiable excitement about the impending return of residential building and home buying in the Canby area, there’s another part of the economic development pie that’s also been tasty of late.

Economic Development Director Renate Mengelberg noted four construction projects that are underway that demonstrate the improved health of Canby’s economy.

“All of these are existing businesses that are expanding,” she said. “That means they have more capacity and shows several things – they are confident in the future and are willing to invest in expansion.”

-- SMS Auto Fabrics: A provider of the world’s largest inventory of automobile cloth and vinyl for auto upholstery headliners and vinyl tops is adding approximately 14,400-square-feet to their existing building.

-- Allegro Dance Studio: Building a 12,600-square-foot studio on South Second Avenue.

-- ProActive Sports: The maker of golf accessories and push carts is constructing a 12,000-square-foot warehouse addition to their existing building.

-- Johnson Controls: This long-time manufacturer of car batteries is adding a 2,970-square-foot addition to their existing building.

“There is enough demand in the market indicators to warrant expansion,” Mengelberg said. “That’s exciting. We haven’t seen that level of expansion since Shimadzu and Pioneer Pump expanded about a year-and-a-half ago.”

Mengelberg expressed optimism that having four prime expansion projects going on in Canby is a good sign that things may be turning for Canby’s econmy.

“I think it’s a good sign that the recovery that’s happening nationally is happening in Canby,” she said. “It’s exciting to see new investment and growth and potential new job opportunities with these expansions. That’s what we want to see. We want to see local businesses expanding, first and foremost.”

Mengelberg said that other than the two examples she cited earlier, there has been precious little expansion over the past five years. There have been businesses that failed and their spots were taken by other businesses, which has helped.

“We’ve done fairly well at filling existing vacancies in Canby, especially on the industrial side,” she said. “On the commercial side, a churn is happening. Places like the Graham building and old Rite Aid building have been empty for a while. They are larger and a little harder to fill. Our smaller retail spaces have filled up pretty well when there’s been an opening.

“I think that reflects well on Canby and the business case to be made here,” she added.

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