Stantec consolidates in new Baseline development

One of the city's largest engineering firms will consolidate its three local offices into a new mixed-use office and retail building next summer.

Edmonton-based Stantec Inc. (TSX:STN) will be the primary tenant of the new five-storey Laurentian Place office tower at 1331 Baseline Rd., at Clyde Avenue, occupying the top three floors and leaving the bottom floor available for retail tenants and the second floor for other office tenants.

The property is being constructed on the site of the former Laurentian High School that was sold by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to Clyde Baseline Developments Inc. - a subsidiary of SmartCentres, which builds commercial developments for Walmart and other big-box stores - for $21.26 million in 2005.

Stantec, which currently operates out of two offices on Laperriere Avenue and one on Lancaster Road in Ottawa, will triple its office space upon moving to the new location, said Mike Young, office administrator of the larger Laperriere Avenue location.

"It's going to be better for us to be under one roof, to be able to coordinate and get jobs done," he said.

The international company has made many acquisitions in recent years, including an announcement on April 26 that it has signed letters of intent to acquire Louisiana-based ABMB Engineers, a 130-person transportation engineering firm, and PHB Group, a 35-person architecture and interior design firm in St. John's, Nfld for undisclosed sums.

In Ottawa, Stantec's employee count sits just above 250, making it the city's third largest engineering firm according to OBJ's 2011 Book of Lists. Mr. Young said that number could increase after the move, without divulging exact numbers or details.

The company is scheduled to move in when construction of the 100,000-square-foot office tower is completed in May 2013.

Its ground floor will have approximately 13,500 square feet of retail space, according to Dennis Eberhard, SmartCentres' vice-president of development, which has yet to be filled but could consist of services such as a dental office or healthcare centre.

The 20,000 square feet of second floor office space is being leased at $22 per square foot, according to a posting made by Colliers International, and is ideal for medium-sized companies, Mr. Eberhard said. Currently it is being built as an open-concept office but alterations can be made by tenants, he added.

Parking facilities will include a one-level underground garage as well as surface parking.

The facility will be built to a silver-LEED-standard, Mr. Eberhard said. Stantec, who assists companies in achieving LEED standards, is consulting with SmartCentres to ensure it reaches its targets.