Baker District Redevelopment Guelph Public Library

Feb 1, 2018

To Mayor Cam Guthrie and members of Guelph City Council,

As President & CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, representing approximately 900 local businesses, I am pleased that the City has begun to move forward with the long-awaited Baker Street Redevelopment process. It is clear that the business community has recognized the value of this important opportunity to revitalize this space by the impressive response to the RFPQ.

After careful consideration of the recently released KPMG Business Case, the chamber fully supports staff’s recommendation that "51,900,000 be approved in the capital budget to allow for the establishment of preliminary design concepts and construction costs for the library component of the Baker District Development" and that "the preliminary library design concepts be coordinated with the preferred development partner and GPL under the City of Guelph's Tier L Project Management Governance and Community Engagement Framework". A clear council commitment to the library is an essential ingredient in providing guidance to the Request for Proposals and ultimately to the preferred development partner for the Baker District Redevelopment.

The time has come for council to clearly commit to funding this project which is crucial to revitalizing the downtown and helping to establish our commitment to being a key player in the innovation corridor. The significance of this project to the economic health and vitality of the community at large cannot be understated.

The chamber welcomed Mayor Guthrie's full support of the new Main library at last week's 'State of the City'. We believe the KPMG business case supports our view and we respectfully request that you take our recommendations into consideration.

Kithio Mwanzia
President & CEO
Guelph Chamber of Commerce