Major downtown development proposed

Discussions to begin next week between the municipality and provincial government

June 3, 2015

SYDNEY, NS – The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has initiated discussion with the province on a significant new development in the downtown core.

"A new central library for the municipality, a downtown campus for the NSCC, a new provincial building and mixed-use residential and commercial space will be among the partnerships we are exploring as a single, large-scale downtown development" said Mayor Cecil Clarke to an audience at a downtown waterfront hotel luncheon hosted by Cape Breton Partnership.

Officials with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Municipal Affairs and Department of Labour and Advanced Education will have first meetings next week to discuss the scope of the project.

"As we have seen in other cities, central public facilities are catalysts for growth for local economies. With additional private sector investment, we can develop a transformative, once-in-a-generation change for our downtown," said Clarke. "There is a lot of work ahead but we are taking that first important step forward."

Clarke says the envisioned multi-purpose complex, with anchors of the NSCC and Library, may include provincial and municipal offices and services, public parkade, public transit hub and mixed-use residential, commercial and retail space. A mixed-use development of this type fits with the CBRM's waterfront vision strategy and supports the municipality's economic development initiatives.

Clarke says pre-feasibility meetings will include private sector, development organizations and public consultation.

"We are pleased to see this level of commitment from the municipality and the province," said Faye MacDougall, regional librarian for the Cape Breton Regional Library. "This is the right project at the right time for our city. It's fitting that we are planning this in the 20th anniversary year of the CBRM."

Federal government participation through the P3 Canada Fund component of Building Canada will be explored. Projects valued at over $100 million are considered for PPP Canada. Other public investment and private commercial investment will also be considered to finance the project.


Attached: Letter from Mayor to Minister Geoff MacLellan on vision for downtown development.