OCA to consider relocation options on 417 corridor after $4.6 million deal to sell Bronson ave. site closes

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Ottawa Construction Association will wait until the transaction to sell its building and land to Toronto condo developer Lamb Development Inc. closes by this November before actively searching for a new location, says OCA president John DeVries.

“Looking at the prices, it looks like we may need to use some of our reserves” to cover the new accommodation costs, hr dsif.  If the deal closes as expected, Lamb will pay the OCA $4.6 million and develop a multi-tower condo project on the site with an overall value of about $90 million.

DeVries says the OCA will likely seek to move to a new location on the Highway 417 corridor somewhere between St. Laurent Blvd. in the east and Greenbank Rd. in the west.  He has his eyes on possible sites/buildings in the Carling and Kirkwood area.

“From what I’ve seen, when you add in the costs of tenant improvements, it looks like we will come out in the wash or may need to add some funds to the project,” DeVries said.

He said the association could consider constructing a new building on a new site, but that type of project has its own share of complications, as determining who would be the general contractor and sub-trades for the work would be more challenging than normal, considering the number of qualified members.

Another consideration is whether the OCA would invite existing tenants such as the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute to move with it to the new location.

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“We’ll listen to the brokers,” he said. “If something exceptional comes to our attention outside the 417 corridor, we’ll look at it as well.”

Lamb says that the OCA won’t need to move for a couple of years and will lease back the building as he proceeds with the rezoning and approval process to build the condo development.  DeVries said the OCA will pay “market rent” to Lamb’s company while it is a tenant, but he wouldn’t disclose exact numbers.

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