Fanshawe & Kingsmill’s: An Open Letter To Denise Brown

To: Councillor Denise Brown, Ward 11
CC: Janette MacDonald, Executive Director, Downtown London

Dear Councillor Brown,

I am writing to you today to strongly advocate that you accept Downtown London’s proposal to re-open discussions regarding providing municipal support for Fanshawe College’s interest in purchasing the Kingsmill’s building referenced in this London Free Press article. I have copied Janette MacDonald on this email.

I am a constituent in your ward, and I chose to take this opportunity – the first time I have written to a City Councillor as an advocate for any matter facing our City – because I believe this issue is of critical importance to our community’s vibrant future. We – as a Community – need our leadership to be able to see the opportunity that has been presented to us and to make informed, considered, and forward-thinking decisions on our behalf. In my mind, the decision to support Fanshawe College’s Gown-to-Town expansion is an easy one.

The dollars – over 10 years – that Fanshawe College is asking for is not onerously nor egregiously unreasonable, in fact, I believe that investment will be returned time and again by the College’s students as they spend money on food, supplies, entertainment, and lodging. One need look no further than the intersections of Queen and McCaul and Dundas and McCaul Streets in Toronto and their proximity to OCAD to see what an impact an influx of talented students can have on a neighbourhood.

And the College is aware of this responsibility to return value to our community: I recently toured the current facility that Fanshawe has on Market Lane and – in addition to marvelling at the architecture and the state-of-the-art facilities – I was impressed and delighted to learn they have no cafeteria nor any large dining area. Students are expected to use the Market and other public spaces to purchase and consume meals. There was even discussion that the Market was looking into accepting Fanshawe Meal Plan Cards!

Finally, to provide a bit of context (and transparency), I am a small business owner operating in the downtown – I have a video production company called web.isod.es – and I depend upon Fanshawe College for my staff. I currently employ 2 full time individuals, and 2 part-time individuals. Each of these very talented people attended Fanshawe College. The two part-timers are seeking to build their own small businesses, and in one case, with much success; in fact, she has started accepting co-op students from the College, and hires her own production assistants from time to time, a circumstance that I know will only increase in the time to come.

My parents are also business owners and my family has property in the core, property that our family hopes will see assessment valuation growth and consequently return more property tax to the City in the future. Fanshawe’s growing presence, the services and products their faculty and students will undoubtedly consume, and the opportunities for new ventures that will arise from the more entrepreneurially-minded young people are the right ingredients to make that hope a reality.

In summary, each of the points above are just some of the  many reasons why your leadership and consideration for this initiative should be re-examined and ultimately supported.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and please do feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Adam Caplan
Founder and Principal
web.isod.es

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 15, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    As business owners as well in the downtown core and a tax payer of London I support Adam and this letter !
    Please Please Please listen to your staff that you hired to work at city hall and do the smartest thing and approve this venture ! You will see big dividends in the future ! Just look at Ryerson in Toronto ! $$$
    Bert Dobben – Owner
    Annie’s Chocolates Ltd
    Arva Ontario
    London Ontario

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