NCC seeks office space bids

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The National Capital Commission is asking local landlords for proposals to provide office space for the Crown corporation’s headquarters.

Buildings must be within the City of Ottawa in a large geographic area bounded approximately by the Ottawa River to the north, Hunt Club Road in the south, the Regional Road 174/Blair Road area in the east and Cedarview Road in the west, although the specified boundaries sometimes deviate from those roads.

Those submitted locations that are closest to Parliament Hill will receive a higher location score in the evaluation, with those further away receiving lower scores that will drop according to distance.

The 15-year lease is slated to start around Nov. 1, 2015.

The tender documents do not explicitly state how much total space is required. A breakdown of the space required for individual departments adds up to 41,631 square feet.

The NCC is believed to currently occupy between roughly 145,000 and 150,000 square feet inside The Chambers office complex on Elgin Street, across from the National War Memorial.

The request for proposals follows on from a request for information the NCC issued in September. At that time, the Crown corporation specified that it required between 97,000 and 120,000 square feet of contiguous office and ancillary space. In the RFI, the NCC specified a downtown location.

The RFI was issued before the federal government scaled back the NCC’s mandate in 2012, removing the responsibility of promoting the capital region and bringing that instead to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Several local real estate experts previously speculated that last year’s RFI was a research exercise designed to elicit information on current market rents and give the NCC leverage in negotiating a renewal with its current landlord, Allied REIT.

The downtown office market has since softened, prompting many landlords to offer deep discounts to tenants.