Here’s How Much Brampton Could Spend on a Massive Downtown Project

It's no secret that Brampton's downtown core has been targeted for dramatic—and, to be fair, exciting—change. Along with a host of placemaking initiatives, the city is working to reinvigorate its downtown area and the city overall by moving forward on ambitious plans to welcome a university and a centre for education, innovation and collaboration (CEIC).

While these projects are exciting, they are also going to be both costly and economically beneficial (ideally, the ends will more than justify the means).

Now we know a little bit more about what those numbers might look like.

Today in Committee of Council, staff presented an economic impact study for a university and CEIC in downtown Brampton.

The study, completed by urbanMetrics Inc., laid out how these developments will potentially create jobs and spark investment, reputational and social benefits (in the downtown and across the city) by "bringing new opportunities for generations of Brampton residents."

The upcoming university, the product of a partnership between Ryerson University and Sheridan College, is expected to grow and welcome more and more students over time.

urbanMetrics laid out projected economic figures for a school with up to 5,000 students and the numbers are interesting.

Here's a look at breakdown:


Construction impact (for a 5,000 student university):

  • 3,150 direct and indirect full time jobs
  • Economic output: $678.8 million - about 80 per cent is expected to occur in Brampton
  • Additional revenue for local and regional governments
  • One Time Expenditure: $43 million

Operational impact (for a 5,000 student university):

  • Ongoing expenditures: $26.9 million per year
  • 1,925 direct and indirect full time jobs, annually
  • Economic output: $308.2 million annually - about 80 per cent is expected to occur in Brampton
  • An estimated 2.3 million annual users for a centre of education, innovation and collaboration, including almost 200,000 from outside Brampton

Student and visitor spending (for a 5,000 student university):

  • Student and visitor expenditures on food, transport, accommodations and more: $2.9 million per year
  • Economic output: $53.5 million annually - with more than 70 per cent occurring in Brampton
  • 310 direct and indirect full time jobs, annually

As for the focus on a downtown location, the city says the site will positively impact and potentially create local and regional transit and connections to the innovation corridor, decrease commercial vacancy (fill up all those empty storefronts) and build what it's calling a "Brampton destination."

The city also says the hub will attract international students, citing Brampton's large immigrant base and growing South Asian population. In 2015, 63 per cent of international students in Canada originated from South and East Asia.

A university, the city says, will also help residents by offering access to another post-secondary option.

"A university education increases earning potential - an average of $43,000 more per year for post-secondary graduates across all age categories when compared to secondary graduates," the city points out in a statement.

The city is also promoting some time-saving benefits to potential future students.

According to the report, a Brampton student could save $800 and 800 hours in commuting costs and time compared to commuting to a downtown Toronto facility over an eight-month academic year.


CEIC

As for the CEIC, the report says it could be up to 200,000 square feet, including a 30,000 sq. ft. incubator. According to the report, it'll be a landmark, multi-level building with underground parking that's open to the public. Ideally, it'll generate 2.3 million unique visits a year, according to an estimate.

In terms of costs, it’ll come with a one-time expenditure of $114.5 million, with ongoing expenditures of $22.3 million a year. That said, those who visit and use the centre are expected to spend about $18.3 million per year.

The city says the centre should help create hundreds of new jobs, help keep those jobs local, and raise millions of dollars for business ventures.

"This report confirms why we've been pursuing a new university - in addition to the economic benefit, a new university campus in our city will have significant, transformative impacts on the entire community," said Mayor Linda Jeffrey in a statement. "We are committed to continue to bring a new university, and work with all our partners for increased growth and opportunity."

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