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New Downtown civic centre will provide economic boost: report

Artist
Artist's rendering of the Downtown civic centre, as seen from Hyack Square/The Keg.
— image credit: Courtesy City of New Westminster

The proposed Downtown multi-use civic facility and office tower will generate “significant” employment and retail expenditures according to a report to New Westminster city council.

The study conducted by G.P. Rollo and Associates, retained by the city, has determined the project will create 156 full-time jobs during the construction phase, another 525 in the offices once it’s built, 25 to 33 restaurant and retail positions, and spinoff employment of more than 200.

The report estimated food and beverage expenditures will be $2 million by 2017 while retail should be about $1.2 million by then. Theatre patrons should bring in about $1.2- to $3.3-million-a-year beyond admission costs. Retail expenditures by conference delegates—including accommodation and transportation—is estimated at nearly $400 a day.

The consultants also believe the civic facility and tower may spur an increase in investment in Downtown residential, commercial and recreational development.

The $35 million project will be built in the 700-block of Columbia Street between Eighth and Begbie streets. The centre—which would include a theatre, conference space, art gallery, museum, archives and other amenities—is expected to be more than 80,000 square feet with an office tower containing 100,000 square feet of commercial space above it.

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