The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) says construction commenced June 1 on Meridian Place, its most ambitious capital project to date.
Within the scope of this uniquely financed capital project will be a comprehensive
redevelopment of Memorial Square; providing for a refurbished and more prominently
positioned cenotaph that will allow for larger memorial events.
This public-private partnership is the first of its kind between the City of Barrie and the BIA. It has seen the BIA financially contribute two thirds of the cost of the re-development, a combination of financing and fundraising through the Centre of the City capital campaign.
The City of Barrie will contribute the remaining one third of the capital cost and retain ownership of the venue.
“We knew we would have to be creative in our approach to financing this project. No one stakeholder could afford to go it alone. With the BIA taking the lead and committing to two thirds of the total $3.8 million capital cost, we were able to get this project shovel ready years before it would have otherwise, said BIA chair Wayne Hay.
“After four years of planning, fundraising, design and engineering, we are finally breaking ground,” Hay said.
A large outdoor public space in the downtown core was identified by the BIA Board of Management as a priority Brand Action Item.
Work on the new Meridian Place is expected to be complete in the spring of 2018. Programming will be key to activating the new space and it is anticipated that this will be the responsibility of the BIA.
Meridian Credit Union secured exclusive naming rights to the venue for a period of 25 years. “We’re delighted to partner with the BIA and The City of Barrie on such a unique sponsorship opportunity. Participating in these types of grass roots, community building projects reflects Meridian’s commitment to the communities we live and work in,” stated Jason Teal, Meridian’s senior director and regional manager.