Toronto developer confirms interest in purchasing OCA’s Bronson Ave. property

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Toronto-based Lamb Development Corp (LDC). has confirmed its interest in purchasing the Ottawa Construction Association (OCA) headquarters and land at 196 Bronson Ave. by paying a substantial deposit to hold its $4.6 million offer for the site.

OCA president John DeVries said Lamb has committed to a “deposit in the six figures” to hold the property for further due diligence, for seven months. He declined to specify the deposit’s exact amount, other than confirming it is in the six figures (that would be greater than $100,000 and less than $1 million.)

He said he had never heard of Lamb Development Inc. until the OCA received the offer.

LDC’s website says the company was established in 2001 by condo broker Brad J. Lamb “to directly participate in the development of stylish, urban condominium projects. At that time, with over 13 years of experience in consulting, marketing, and the selling of over 80 of Toronto’s most innovative and exciting projects, Mr. Lamb wanted to bring something different to the development world.

“Since then, he has done just that, developing over nine completed projects, along with four projects under construction. An additional 1700 units or six projects are in development”

The company says completed projects include Zen Lofts, OneSixNine, glas, and East. Ottawa developments include the groundbreaking three-phase East Market Lofts and the Mondrian. Completed projects in Montreal include the two-phase McGill Ouest in Old Montreal.

LDC’s website says in addition to other Toronto projects and developments in Hondorus and the Dominican Republic, it is working on three projects in Ottawa, including the Gotham and “two unnamed developments” (one of which may be the OCA site).

DeVries said the association decided to put the OCA’s building and land on the market in late 2012 because the property, as currently configured, no longer really meets the association’s requirements. “Very few people actually visit the plans room these days, and the training facilities in the basement are inadequate for our needs,” he said.

If the sale goes through, the association will have two years to find a new location. The association’s board is discussing where it will relocate, but the thought is the site should be close to transportation and have adequate facilities for occasional visits of individuals interested in a diversity of training programs.

“Initial explorations of properties suggest that at the end of the day we will be able to sell and build and the transactions likely will balance each other,” DeVries said in an earlier interview.

Some OCA board members are thinking of building on land that would reflect the city’s growth, but others would like to keep the association at a more central location, possibly on a street such as Woodward Dr. in Ottawa’s west end. The association could either lease or purchase. As it is, the OCA has a healthy balance sheet and the additional revenue from the Bronson Ave. sale (and even the deposit retention, if the sale doesn’t go through) will enhance the association’s financial security.

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