Ericsson’s fit-up to cost more than $18M

The cost of converting a three-storey office building into an R&D lab for Swedish telecom giant Ericsson Canada (NASDAQ:ERIC) is expected to exceed $18 million, according to municipal records.

A construction permit filed to the city in July says it will cost $18.5 million for the Kanata Research Park – which owns the building – to make interior alterations to all three storeys of the Swansea Building,  located at 349 Terry Fox Dr.

Ericsson confirmed it would stay in Ottawa last June, after the federal government took over the former Nortel campus with a $208-million deal completed at the end of 2010.

Its new facility will have roughly 200,000 square feet of operational space and the move is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2012, spokesperson Patricia MacLean said at an event last year announcing the news.

She noted that there are currently no plans to increase Ericsson’s 900-employee head count in Ottawa in conjunction with the move, although the company has the option to expand its space by an additional 40,000 square feet in the future.

The company’s local facility is focused on long-term evolution wireless research, as well on the development and support of the older code division multiple access, or CDMA, radio access technology.

Ericsson’s takeover of the office space in the Kanata Research Park meant that previous tenants had to vacate the building, including The Corporate Centre Canada, Escalade IT and Kahoot.ca, which went out of business in June.