The City is committing $18.6 million as part of the strategy to prepare large parcels of land in Barrie for development. The money is to be used to move forward with infrastructure servicing on some employment lands.
“Growing our economy is council’s top priority. To recover strong from COVID, Barrie needs to have a broad supply of market-ready, serviced lands for our manufacturers and other major employers to grow. This strategy is a big step forward in helping Barrie compete as a location for business and is a major commitment to attracting new jobs,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman.
The strategy is meant to help Barrie compete for investment with Greater Toronto Area (GTA) municipalities representing the third largest industrial market in North America. Barrie currently has few larger shovel-ready parcels of employment lands available for purchase; in September 2020, city council directed staff to explore fiscal tools and strategies to increase Barrie’s competitiveness in attracting business and investment.
Staff will work on a program to incentivize strategic economic development on property identified in the Barrie Employment Lands Strategy. The program could include grants and other financial incentives permitted under the Community Improvement Plan framework.
“Taking a more aggressive and proactive approach to fostering the availability of employment lands in the city provides the opportunity for Barrie to position itself more competitively in the marketplace, and stand out amongst other Ontario municipalities who all generally rely on similar investment tools to attract development and investment,” said Stephannie Schlichter, Director of Economic Development.