City of Ottawa launches redevelopment process for prime ByWard Market location

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byward market building

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Ottawa has posted a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) for the redevelopment of what is now a city-owned parking garage, with street level retail, in its Byward Market neighbourhood.

The property at 70 Clarence St. currently houses six retail stores and four  parking levels.

“The goal of the REOI is to generate inspiring redevelopment concepts, assess the timing of the initiative, and gauge the interest of potential partners in the project,” says a statement from the city issued on Tuesday (March 29).

The REOI is available through MERX until May 10

“The redevelopment of this central ByWard Market building is another opportunity to add a world-class destination in this great neighbourhood and make Ottawa an even greater city to visit and to live in,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said.

The ByWard Market area, with restaurants, nightlife, and less appealing elements including homeless individuals and prostitution, has been a “major destination area” in the city’s core. It is surrounded by a residential neighbourhood.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-envision and redevelop 70 Clarence St. into a destination to help reinforce the unique heritage character of the ByWard Market, potentially ignite a new phase of revitalization, and strengthen economic recovery efforts,” the statement says.

The 70 Clarence Street project is an initiative under the ByWard Market Public Realm Plan, which guides the evolution of the Market’s public spaces and provides a framework to coordinate investment opportunities. Ottawa City Council unanimously approved the plan in January 2021.

Following the conclusion of the REOI process, city staff will present the findings to City Council and provide recommendations on next steps in the process.

As this is the start of the project, there is no firm date for completion. Ideally, the city says it would like the redevelopment to be substantially completed for the ByWard Market’s 200th anniversary in 2027.

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