Brookfield, EllisDon win university project

A Brookfield-led consortium has been selected to design, build, finance and maintain the art school’s new campus in British Columbia.

Applied Arts Partners, a consortium led by real assets-focused investment bank Brookfield Financial and EllisDon Capital, has been selected to design, build, finance and maintain a new campus for the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in British Columbia.

Details about the cost of the project will be disclosed after the performance-based contract has been finalised, Partnerships BC, the government agency that is responsible for the planning, delivery and oversight of major infrastructure projects in British Columbia, said in a statement.

The school, which is the only specialised post-secondary institution in British Columbia and only one of four in Canada offering fine arts, media arts and design programmes exclusively, has outgrown its existing campus due to increased student demand.

The new facilities, which will be built at Great Northern Way in Vancouver, will be able to accommodate more than 1,800 students and will be designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards, according to the statement.

Brookfield’s portion of the investment will come from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, a publicly-listed fund of Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), which owns and operates utilities, transport, and energy assets worldwide and has $20 billion in capital. The consortium’s other financial partners include EllisDon Capital and Fengate Capital Management.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2015 and the new campus is expected to be complete in 2017, creating approximately 1,500 jobs during construction.

“It is great to see that a new, state-of-the-art campus for Emily Carr University is one step closer to becoming a reality,” Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk said. “The university is internationally renowned for its contributions to the creative sector, and the world-class new campus at Great Northern Way will enable its graduates to continue to make major contributions to this important part of British Columbia’s economy,” he added.

According to the statement, a fairness adviser oversaw and monitored the procurement process and concluded that it was fair, reasonable and appropriate. Partnerships BC said it will make the report publicly available once the contract is final, which is expected to occur by February 2015.

The two other shortlisted groups were BC Education Partners teaming Bouygues Building Canada with InfraRed Capital Partners; and Tandem Education Partners, led by Balfour Beatty Investments and Connor Clark & Lunn GVest Traditional Infrastructure.