Photo Credit: Pixabay In terms of the local economy and real estate, it appears the best is still to come for Alberta. There may still be opportunities to participate in the province's new prosperity. The question is where to invest, and what to invest in. Western Investor reports that Alberta is finally seeing the economic blip caused by the energy downturn, as a small “speck in the rearview mirror.” We're now seeing recovery and a rebound in sight. That's not only good news for jobs and incomes, but presents great opportunities for business owners and investing in local real estate as well. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) says the provincial economy took off and grew by 4.1% last year. That growth may moderate to a slightly more modest and sustainable pace, though the energy industry, capital investment, and other key economic indicators are all expected to remain trending in a positive direction. Edmonton The reviving industrial sector may be great for Calgary, but an influx of young people and a diversifying economy in Edmonton, could make this city one of the best during the year ahead. This is expected to be a growth year' for Edmonton, but experts anticipate the best coming in 2019 as we see the culmination of various factors converging. Building sales rebounded to $1.9B in 2017. Yet, the president of a local Edmonton based research firm says we have not seen speculative building as in other parts of Canada and the world. This will help keep occupancy rates strong and preserves room for well-earned appreciation and sustainable rent increases. Commercial Real Estate Residential real estate prices and new home mortgage rules are still a hot and controversial topic across Canada. Yet, Western Investor says some of the best performance in Alberta is being seen in Edmonton's retail sector. It is a sector which didn't get hit as hard in the recession, thanks to consumer spending and local suburban shopping plazas. Those offer more of an essential service no matter what the greater economy is doing. It may be true that some big anchor chains have failed in Canada, and in some cases, they have left large spaces unoccupied. These vacant spaces can be replaced by others entering the market, by local retailers who are experiencing great growth and need more room or by subdividing these spaces to accommodate smaller, local businesses. Summary Alberta continues to experience new growth and economic strength. Many recent improvements are likely to combine and keep producing positive growth for jobs, businesses and commercial property owners. For those looking to participate in this momentum, Edmonton retail and local shopping plazas have proven to be consistent performers, while offering new opportunities for adding value with new leases and tenants.