Posted September 13, 2010
An important Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting will be held September 14 to discuss the recommendation of placing the Pan Am Games Stadium at the McMaster Innovation Park.
The meeting takes place at 9:30 am at City Hall Council Chambers. Please consider attending if you are able.
Here are the crucial facts about the McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) and the West Hamilton Innovation District (WHID):
- The West Hamilton Innovation District (WHID) is bounded by Highway 403 to the west, Aberdeen Avenue to the south, Main Street West to the North, and Dundurn Street to the east which then jogs west at Chatham Street.
- There is a total of 133 acres contained within the WHID.
- Experts say the minimum acreage required for a viable and sustainable Innovation Park in North America is 125 acres.
- The City of Hamilton does not currently own all of the lands within the defined boundaries of the WHID, although some lands have already been acquired including CP Lands, Republic Steel remnant parcel.
- The stated vision for the WHID is:
The West Hamilton Innovation District Secondary Plan Area will function as a centre of innovation for corporate, academic and government research in science and technology and will be recognized as a major entry point into the City. This prestige employment community will establish architectural presence along Highway 403 and a street- oriented design along the interior public roads. The development of knowledge-based activities will allow for the eventual production of goods and materials enabling companies to remain and grow within the Innovation District. The establishment of partnerships between education, the City, other levels of government and the business community will spark the development of a dynamic community and create synergies that will encourage innovation, economic growth and new business opportunities. The Innovation District will be enhanced by supportive commercial, educational and residential uses which will contribute to the transformation of the area into an integrated first rate research community. Pedestrian activity and interaction will be encouraged through the creation of attractive streetscapes, innovative building design and the provision of publicly accessible spaces. The improvement and development of existing and new linkages will enhance access to accommodate motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, public transit and goods movement within, through and around the Innovation District.
- The McMaster Innovation Park comprises 37 acres within the boundaries of the WHID, including 5 acres of open space. This land is owned by McMaster.
- Current employment at the MIP is 450 (Atrium and Canmet Lab)
- The land use policies state that the following uses are permitted within the MIP lands:
- Educational, residential and commercial uses permitted ancillary to McMaster Innovation Park will be developed in accordance with the long-term vision to create a dynamic, integrated state of-the-art research community that will foster innovation, entrepreneurialism and creativity.
- Limited accommodations for visiting scholars, professors and/or professionals will be permitted.
- When the WHID is completely built out it will comprise 14 buildings and provide 3500 jobs in research, innovation, advnaced manufacturing, clean technologies and biosciences. These jobs will be well-paying, high technology jobs, critical for the new creative economy.
- The City successfully fought to protect the WHID lands (including MIP) against a proposed “big-box” commercial development west of Dundurn.
- The City of Hamilton critically needs increased tax generating employment lands.
- The research into economic development tells us that clustering is key. A land swap in which some MIP activities are moved elsewhere will result in less synergy and a lower chance of success at cultivating new, high-growth businesses.
- If no agreement in principle on the MIP emerges from Council tomorrow, the City's original West Harbour bid will go to HostCo, which will result in a 5-7000 seat stadium that can be designed for later expansion if either the Ticats change their minds about playing there or a pro soccer team opens in Hamilton.