There's a whole lot going on in Sudbury's downtown, as years of hard work is starting to pay off in a big way.
Big, as in the big projects city council has gotten behind in an attempt to transform the city, including the Place des Arts, the new library, art gallery and convention centre, and the Elgin St. Greenway.
The Place des Arts took a major step forward this month: it's scheduled to start construction sometime this summer, after securing public funding and awarding the design and build contract to two architecture firms last fall, as well as a successful ongoing capital fundraising campaign. The $30 million building will be located at the junction of Elgin Street, Larch Street and Medina Lane.
The five-storey building would total 60,000 square feet, divided into a 300-seat performance hall, workshops, galleries, studios, rehearsal spaces, a bistro and a boutique, along with both permanent and temporary administrative offices for the seven founding member organizations and other tenants.
In January, the city council decided to combine the convention centre, art gallery and library into one building – the former Sudbury Arena, which is scheduled to move to the Kingsway.
The convention centre includes 19,500 square feet of rentable space, with a 13,000 square-foot main plenary/live performance hall featuring 950 theatre-style seats. At this size, it could compete for large convention groups in excess of 300 people, with trade show capacity, banquets of up to 900 persons, and live performance events for up to 950 persons.
With the approvals, city staff is preparing an integrated site design that should be ready this spring. Construction is expected to begin in about two years.
A smaller project, the Elgin Street Greenway will eventually create a linked walking trail connecting downtown and Science North. The first part of the work – a major renovation of the Elgin Street underpass – is already completed. City staff are applying to other levels of government for funding for the project.
An update is expected this spring.