For Immediate Release
March 26, 2010
Office of the Premier
BC PLACE COMPLEX TO CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS
VANCOUVER – A new 680,000 square foot entertainment complex attached to BC Place will create more than 8,500 direct and indirect jobs during construction and ongoing operation, increase tourism and build a more vibrant downtown, announced Premier Gordon Campbell and David Podmore, chair of BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo).
PavCo, the Crown corporation that manages BC Place, confirmed today a 70-year lease agreement with Paragon Development Ltd. for two acres of the BC Place west side lands – the result of a competitive bidding process that attracted multiple proposals. The $450-million proposed project will feature two new internationally-branded hotels and a new gaming facility, subject to municipal approval.
“This project will create literally thousands of jobs and be an important generator of tourism and economic activity for Vancouver and the entire province,” said Premier Campbell. “During the Olympic Winter Games the streets of Vancouver were alive with the Olympic spirit – and we hope this entertainment complex will help recapture some of that excitement.”
The project is expected to create an estimated total employment of more than 3,200 direct and 2,200 indirect jobs during construction and an estimated total employment of more than 1,900 direct and 1,300 indirect jobs during facility operations. The facility is expected to generate up to $130 million in gaming revenues that will be distributed to the Province in the first full year. Pending City of Vancouver approval, Edgewater Casino will be relocated as part of the rezoning process.
“This unique development will further enhance the new BC Place as a world-class facility.” said Podmore. “In addition to gaming revenues for both the Province and the city, this complex brings additional economic benefits in both tourism and event opportunities.”
“Together with the incredible changes being made at BC Place, this iconic venue will draw visitors and residents to enjoy an entertainment destination unique to Canadian cities,” said Scott Menke, president, Paragon Development. “The business case was evident to us, and we’re looking forward to working closely with PavCo and BC Place in redefining Vancouver’s entertainment epicentre.”
Pending the rezoning application to the City of Vancouver, construction is planned to begin in early 2011 and be completed in mid-2013. Events will continue to be held during construction.
The $6-million per year (plus inflation) in lease revenue from the development will, together with other development, sponsorship and new event revenues, help to defray the cost of the retractable roof at BC Place.
In October 2009, the Province and PavCo announced a $458-million fixed-price contract between PavCo and PCL Constructors Canada Inc for a new retractable roof. Beginning in April 2010, BC Place will undergo a major revitalization with the installation of the largest cable-supported retractable roof of its kind in the world.
The new roof will cut energy costs by one-quarter, $350,000 annually and a further $100,000 annually will be saved through operational savings. The roof project will create approximately 3,000 person-years of employment, attract an additional 41 event days to Vancouver annually and increase the annual economic impact of the stadium from $60 million to $100 million in economic activity every single year. It will also extend the life of BC Place for an additional 40 years.
BC Place is the largest sports, exhibition and entertainment venue of its kind in British Columbia, hosting the province’s most notable events, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Upon re-opening in 2011, BC Place will be the new home for the Vancouver MLS franchise, will continue to be home to the BC Lions Football Club, the 2011 Grey Cup and many other exhibitions, community and entertainment events.
Paragon Development Ltd. is one of North America’s leading destination resort developers, with special emphasis on gaming-based destinations. Paragon currently operates casinos in Western Canada including River Cree Resort outside of Edmonton, Alberta, and purchased Edgewater Casino on Vancouver’s False Creek waterfront in 2006. That casino will be closed once the new development is ready for occupation.
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Aerial Communications Group for Paragon Development Ltd.
416 371-7765 (cell)
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