Super library project receives council’s blessing
The $174.8-million super library has city council’s financial support.
The joint project of the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada received council’s blessing Wednesday, allowing the city to forge ahead with hiring an architect for the future landmark building at 557 Wellington St. The city-owned property is along Albert Street, west of Bronson Avenue, on LeBreton Flats.
The city will pay $104.2 million and Library and Archives will pay $70.6 million for the building.
The city, whose long-term debt is around $2 billion, will borrow $80 million to help fund its share of the agreement. The finance department estimates the $80-million loan will come with a 4.5 per cent interest rate, repaid over 20 years.
The city will sell the current main library on Metcalfe Street for $20 million to Slate Properties and use the money to help pay for the super library.
Coun. Diane Deans succeeded with a proposal to put aside $2.5 million from the sale of the current library for affordable housing.
The city will pay an extra $18.1 million for a 200-spot underground parking garage. Councillors Mathieu Fleury, Tobi Nussbaum, Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper and Riley Brockington voted against the parking recommendation. The rest of the recommendations on the super library passed unanimously.
The city is in the middle of a competition to hire an architect team.
The super library is scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and open in 2024.
BIG BROWNFIELD GRANT APPROVED FOR ZIBI
Council signed off on the largest brownfield development discount in the city ’s history, giving the Zibi development a $61-million grant to clean up contaminated land off Booth Street.
The massive development along the Ottawa River, a partnership of Windmill Development Group and Dream Unlimited, will get the grant in the form of a break in development charges and property taxes.
NEW CIVIC HOSPITAL LAND USE APPROVED
The Ottawa Hospital has the land-use changes it needs to build a new Civic campus on the Central Experimental Farm.
Council approved rezoning 21 hectares near Dow’s Lake. A fivehectare chunk will also be changed to “general urban area” from “agricultural research area” in the city ’s official plan.
The hospital and Public Service and Procurement Canada have finalized a 99-year lease for the land.
WESTBORO DEVELOPMENT RE-UPPED
Council reversed a planning committee decision on a Westboro mixed-use development application. Domicile Developments is replacing three detached homes at 398, 402 and 406 Roosevelt Ave. with a residential and commercial building. The city’s planning department endorsed a six-storey plan, partly because the property is near the future Dominion LRT station.
The planning committee in a 6-3 vote last month knocked the building down to five storeys.
In an 18-5 vote Wednesday, planning chair Jan Harder won council’s support to stick with the staff-supported application and let the developer have six storeys.