Former OCA headquarters to become $36.9 million apartment tower

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Ottawa has issued a $36,896,229 building permit to develop the 192-196 Bronson Ave. site formerly occupied by the Ottawa Construction Association (OCA)

The new 19-storey mixed use structure with two underground parking lots is long in coming, since the OCA originally sold the building in 2013 to a company controlled by Toronto condo developer Brad Lamb.

In late April, contractors under the supervision of Bassie Construction LP were working on the foundation for the property’s current owner.

The OCA originally sold the site the property for $4.6 million and leased back the address for several years, until moving to its current Auriga Dr. location last summer.

Meanwhile, as the association remained in its former Bronson Ave. location, Lamb partnered with Fortress Real Developments until 2016, the Fortress website says. (Fortress, which funded its projects largely through syndicated mortgages, was placed in receivership in 2018.)  Original plans for an 18-storey condominium building with 214 residential units and 1,613 sq. ft. of ground floor retail were changed to the mixed use/rental apartment structure.

Juteau Johnson Coba Inc. reports that 192 Bronson Property Inc. (Ron Lavy) purchased the site (which includes 33 Cambridge St. N. and 192 Bronson Ave. as well as 196 Bronson Ave.) in December 2017 from Bronson Ltd. (Lamb Development Corp.) for $7.65 million (or $292 per sq. ft.), or about $3 million more than the OCA received in 2016.

It is unclear who collected the major part of what, based on the reported sale figure, would represent about a $3 million capital gain – or more, based on the original take-back mortgage leverage.

The recently issued building permit says the new structure will have 251 dwelling units, occupying a total of 249,713 sq. ft.  The permit issued on March 18 is the largest permit that month.

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