City staff recommends preferred option for Baker District; sets stage for public engagement on sustainable parking model
Guelph, On, June 6, 2014 – On June 18, members of Council will learn more about the City’s proposed Enterprise Framework approach, including a new enterprise tool to help prioritize and strategically implement major city building initiatives that will shape Guelph’s future growth.
“Guelph has a unique history of city building. We need to continue being innovative in how we build prosperity. Introducing an enterprise framework to strategic discussions will help Guelph be economically sustainable, affordable and livable,” says Al Horsman, executive director and CFO, Finance and Enterprise Services.
He adds, “The City’s Finance and Enterprise Services area was established to proactively implement the community’s vision through sound financials coupled with enterprising approaches, and we are seeing the results. The proposed Enterprise Framework continues to build on this practice and puts more focus on achieving major city building initiatives that bring resiliency and economic growth to Guelph.”
To do this, staff is proposing a new schedule that will help inform the strategic planning of the City. The enterprise tool will provide a road map that aligns non-financial and financial analysis of a policy document requiring significant City investment.
One such city building initiative is intensifying Guelph’s downtown core, which is being implemented through the City’s Downtown Secondary Plan and Downtown Community Improvement Plan. The Baker District redevelopment is a major project within these downtown activation plans.
On June 18 staff will recommend ‘private and major institutional’ as the preferred development option and outline the decision level pro forma—a financial and program plan—for the proposed redevelopment of Baker District.
Ian Panabaker, corporate manager of Downtown Renewal, says the City’s contribution still requires analysis for in-kind and other funding opportunities, which will be considered as part of the 2015 and future year budget deliberations. “To build our city we must strategically leverage key assets and generate viable opportunities with partners.”
Potential partners for the Baker Street redevelopment include the Guelph Public Library, Conestoga College, YMCA, and Innovation Guelph in addition to private sector involvement. As a result of the redevelopment of the Baker Street site, staff estimates the downtown core would see about $44 million in annual retail spending among residents, students, visitors, and employees by bringing upwards of 3,700 visitors to the site each day.
The June 18 meeting will also provide Council with an update on the Parking Master Plan project.
“Parking is a key factor in achieving the intensification of the downtown. The next consultations on the Parking Master Plan will involve connecting policy choices to the financial and long term implications of managing the service,” says Panabaker.
“With the plans Guelph has adopted, we are actively growing the city differently. We’re transforming the value of the land we already have and we’re doing so where our community can realize the highest returns,” says Panabaker. “We’re moving away from a culture of ‘building new’ to a culture of renovating and improving what we have.”
The special meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers.
For more information
519-822-1260 extension 2475