As part of the City’s arrangement with the Sandbox Entrepreneurship Centre to use the second floor of the downtown transit terminal, staff is recommending the extended rooftop space be included for use as an outdoor patio.
If approved by council, the use of the space would be subject to the centre meeting all building permit requirements and specified conditions of the lease, according to a staff report prepared by Karen Dubeau, director of the creative economy.
Last October council passed a motion supporting the creation of an entrepreneurship centre on the second floor of the terminal. The City agreed to provide an “in-kind contribution towards the initiative by waiving the rent and TUMI (taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities) costs for the facility. As the vast majority of these costs are already included in the City’s base operating budget, there was no new financial impact to the tax base for the in-kind contribution,” states the report.
It continues that “as a means of protecting taxpayers and ensuring a return on investment made by the City in the form of free rent, taxes, utilities, maintenance and insurance in a publicly owned prime waterfront location, a report be presented to General Committee after the Sandbox’s first three years of operation assessing (its) ability to deliver value to the business, entrepreneurial and broader community, based on performance metrics to be determined.”
The outdoor patio, continues the report, “would add significant benefits to the overall attractiveness of the space … supporting the social and networking collisions intended for businesses and start-ups in the space. The proposed design includes replacing current windows on the south-side wall with larger windows for enhanced views of Kempenfelt Bay, and a large glass sliding door for access to the outdoor patio.”
If included, the patio would add about 1,000 square feet to the existing 8,000 square feet on the terminal’s second floor. The centre, continues the report, has been able to obtain “corporate funding and in-kind materials and services contributions to meet the capital requirements for the implementation of the proposed patio space. Therefore, there would be no financial implications to the City of Barrie’s capital plan.
“The inclusion of an attractive, outdoor patio space and larger windows will increase the overall marketability and property value of the space. The improvement is leveraging private sector dollars to benefit a municipal asset. The use of the space is consistent with, and supportive of, a downtown Creative Hub, and will act as an attractor to the space.”
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