According to a report prepared by Daniel Arbour & Associés and released today by The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the building of a modern health science facility at Glen Yard will result in positive economic benefits for the boroughs of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce/Côte-des- Neiges, the Sud Ouest and Westmount.
"The MUHC will be a major economic force in the western part of the city," explained David Culver, Chair of the Board of Directors of the MUHC Development Corporation. "We employ 11,000 men and women and provide health care services to 40,000 in-patients and 970,000 out-patients annually. Added to that of course are the family and friends visiting patients on a daily basis. In addition we expect to draw new businesses to the area from doctor's offices to clinics, labs and restaurants."
The economic impact analysis is based on a survey of the spending habits of MUHC employees, outpatients and visitors. The injection of close to $28 million in the local economy consists of an estimated $13 million to be spent in the health centre's cafeterias and shops and an estimated $14.8 million to be spent in existing or new commercial and service establishments near the future MUHC.
"If the total amount were spent in existing establishments, sales figures for local merchants would increase by five to six percent," stated Daniel Arbour. "On the other hand, if the close to $15 million in expenditures were made in new businesses, an estimated additional 54,000 square feet of space would be required."
The relocation and concentration of the MUHC facilities at the Glen Yard site could lead to the arrival, moves and emergence of establishments offering related or medical support services, as well as complementary health care facilities. Most affected by the relocation of the MUHC will be specialists, because of their close ties to the health centre. It is expected that many of them will move their offices close to the new site, primarily for reasons of convenience, access to equipment, laboratories, conference rooms and classrooms.
"In light of the buoyant real estate market, which we expect to continue and even increase in the coming years, the arrival of the new MUHC will have only a marginal impact on the local residential market," explained Mr. Arbour. "Both the analysis of market indicators and a survey of local stakeholders suggest that any impact will blend in with all the influences that are already transforming local market conditions."
"Our goal," added Mr. Culver, " is to be a good corporate citizen. That is why we agreed to commission this study, and we look forward to working with our future neighbours to ensure our arrival brings the anticipated benefits while respecting and preserving the existing quality of life the best of our ability. "
The MUHC at the Glen Yard, scheduled to open in late 2006, will be a state-of-the-art health centre separate research building as well as patient care pavilions, including a children's hospital and a dedicated neurosciences facility.
The economic impact study is available on the MUHC web site: www.muhc.mcgill.ca/planning/local_economy.pdf