With Holland College opening its new Summerside Waterfront Campus in September, there is a new need for student housing in the area.
Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart sees the economic potential for the city and said elected officials will do whatever they can to take advantage of it.
“If there’s any way, shape or form that we can encourage the students (to live downtown) we will,” Stewart said. “They will probably want to live close to their school. If there’s any way that we can encourage the private sector to provide downtown housing, we certainly will.”
Stewart said a large influx of young people in the downtown would create an entirely new atmosphere.
“The waterfront campus, it’s going to be beautiful,” he said.
In 2011, the city passed its Economic Development Incentive Policy that called for no incremental property taxes for up to five years on qualified projects and up to five-year electrical rate freezes on qualified projects.
A similar incentive that would be tailor-made for student housing accommodations could be developed by the city for existing vacant premises that could be converted to student housing.
“Anything that we can do that will fit within the system we’re certainly willing to do that,” the mayor said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for our city."