New spectator facility becoming reality

The new spectator facility in St. Catharines is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Following interviews with pre-qualified bidders, Ball/Rankin Construction, Giffels Westpro/Norr Project Team and PCL Contractors Canada Inc., the City’s evaluation team is preparing a list of questions regarding the various technical aspects of the proposals.
The information provided, along with budget information, will assist the team in the final selection of the successful proponent.
The evaluation team will publicly announce its preferred proponent on Oct. 19, when its report to council is released. City Council is expected to formally accept the recommended proponent at its Oct. 29 meeting.
“We know there is a lot of interest in this project and we want people to know the results as soon as possible,” said St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan in a press release.
“Unlike other project bids, determining the best proposal in a design-build process takes time, research and negotiation. I want to thank the people of St. Catharines for respecting this process and allowing us to do the work necessary to secure the best facility for our city.”
The venue, which will be able to seat 4,500 to 5,300 people, will be built in the existing lower level parking lot at 55 McGuire St.
This location will prove critical in efforts to transform the City’s core and will join the future Performing Arts Centre and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as a building block in downtown renewal and revitalization.
Revitalization in St. Catharines has been an on-going process over the past few years. With the construction of the Performing Arts Centre, the Walker Family Cancer Centre, the Carlisle Street Parking Garage and a new spectator facility among many other projects on the docket, the City’s efforts are receiving national attention.
The Canadian Business Journal reported that St. Catharines is realizing significant private sector interest in its downtown core, particularly residential investment in the form of mixed-use condominiums.
“We’ve […] focused on making St. Catharines a walkable community, and we’re really starting to build on our trail systems and adding bike lanes, we’re pedestrian friendly, and we’re also looking at a public space for the downtown,” said Marco Marino, Economic Development Officer with the City of St. Catharines in an interview with The Canadian Business Journal on Sept. 14.
The new spectator facility will begin construction this fall with completion expected in fall 2014.
The Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs, which came to the Niagara Region in 2007, will relocate from the dated Jack Gatecliff Arena to serve as the anchor tenant of the new state-of-the-art spectator facility, according to The Canadian Business Journal.
The project is financed at $50 million, which is funded with $17 million from the civic project fund, $5 million in fundraising, $1 million from the federal gas tax fund and the remainder borrowed.

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