KITCHENER -- The University of Waterloo wants to partner with the City of Kitchener on a $35-million building project.

UW sent a letter to Kitchener city staff this week asking them to partner with the school to transform a vacant warehouse on Joseph Street. The university wants to turn the 90,000 square foot building into a new Health Innovation facility.

UW is asking the city to contribute $8.5 million, 25 per cent of the capital costs.

If the city agrees to be a partner, they would be able to lease 5,000 square feet of space for $1. That area would be used by the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.

UW's plan for the building includes a home for its Velocity program, the incubator for tech starters complete with a wet lab, biosafety labs and a clinical simulation suite.

It would be part of interdisciplinary research for UW's Health Science Campus, used as a collaboration space for entrepreneurs, research and students.

The university said the proposed building would be among the first of its kind in Canada.

The proposal is on the agenda at the upcoming Finance and Corporate Services meeting on Monday.