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U2 spins Moncton a full 360 degrees!

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In 2009, the City of Moncton had a record smashing year in the value of building permits issued. It didn’t just pass the previous high, it soared well above it. 2010, seemed a little flat after that smashing year but it was still a solid year, in fact if we take year to date end of August comparisons, 2010 was second only to 2009. Things were looking pretty good and while the outlook was positive, expectations were somewhat tempered for 2011 in view of the continuing economic struggles of the global economy.

But a look at the end of August figures in 2011 show that Moncton is still chugging along. For that record smashing year, permits reached $144 million as of the end of August. This year, that value has reached $133 million which is $30 million higher than the next highest year. While we have to be careful to keep an eye on the circumstances of the economy elsewhere, whether globally, nationally or regionally, we can safely say that Moncton is still working.

Just where is all of this action? Some is in Moncton’s industrial parks where two large distribution centres are under construction in Caledonia Industrial Estates. There is also the new Action Car and Truck Accessories facility putting its final touches on as it begins its move into Moncton’s newest industrial park, Moncton Industrial Park West. In fact the value of industrial construction this year is bested only by the total value in the residential sector. In the residential sector, development is a mix of single family, duplexes and apartments that have been built or are under construction. Commercial construction has also remained strong with new office facilities and new retail and wholesale facilities.

So what does all this have to do with U2? Well, Moncton’s good fortune really does go beyond the traditional measures of development, it is also keeping itself moving along with its major entertainment attraction. Magnetic Hill, long known as the place where water runs uphill as one’s car coasts up hill, is much more than an optical illusion. Magnetic Hill has become a major concert site. Well known international artists have played the Hill such as the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, AC/DC and more.

But surely this year, the Hill topped the charts when the super group U2 finished their worldwide 360 degree tour in Moncton. From the first stop in Barcelona, Spain two years ago, U2 has circled the globe playing some of the biggest venues in major cities around the world. After those two years, the time had come to wind it all up. And so, the giant claw built exclusively for this tour came to Moncton for its last time out to the joy of some 75,000 fans.

While the constant stream of rain during the day made one wonder about the wisdom of outdoor concerts, it finally stopped late afternoon and before any of the musical magic began. It was a quiet calm evening when U2 hit the stage but the calm burst as the band hit the stage. Whether it was the throb of the bass, the pounding of the drums or the voice of Bono, the sounds could be heard for miles from the site. The music, the lights, the performance made this a fitting conclusion to the tour and a major moment in Moncton’s rock and roll history.

As the glamour of this famous rock band’s visit faded in the aftermath, Moncton got back to basics of building anew, of developing and moving forward. Enjoy the moment and then get back to work, that’s Moncton. And when it comes to a business location, just think of U2. The biggest band in the world, has just rounded the world with its concerts. It could have finished up anywhere but they finished in Moncton. Why?

Because Moncton can. Moncton can bring off major concerts and Moncton can be the right location for a wide array of business due to its central location in the Maritime region. U2 attracted people from a large radius and was successful. In short Moncton is good for business. Whether it’s for distribution, for manufacturing, for regional offices or national offices and more, Moncton is all about location, location, location. Or just think of it as Moncton’s 360 degree tour.

September, 2011

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