Backers of a potential new Montreal MLB ballpark have a bigger plan than just bringing pro baseball back to the city: they want to create a mixed-use development like the Atlanta Braves created at SunTrust Park with The Battery.
We’ve been tracking how sports facilities are increasingly positioned as an economic development tool as part of a larger complex, with The Battery being a prime example of such a development. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has spoken highly of this model in terms of future facilities planning, as have other baseball insiders. This seems to be the model Stephen Bronfman and his fellow investors want to follow in their pursuit of Major League Baseball, as their vision of a ballpark in the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighborhood near downtown Montreal hews to a similar vision. From the CBC:
Right now, the area is largely industrial. Bronfman and his team want to work with developer Devimco to create a mixed-use project in the area, “really incorporating the people of the Sud-Ouest, and really something that’s open to all of Montreal.”
“There’s so much that goes on here in the summertime, with the festivals — Just For Laughs and Jazz — you know, a nice open rotunda where you have activities and stuff going on, it’s going to be great.”…
Bronfman said while his group wants to build a ballpark at the Peel Basin site, the plan is to develop it — with or without a stadium. Devimco built many of the buildings in Griffintown.
Large-scale development is always a challenge; some local residents are arguing for a more modest approach to the area, including federal housing as opposed to private investment. The debates are already beginning, and expect them to grow more heated once an actual plan is presented.
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