Su­per li­brary project re­ceives coun­cil’s bless­ing

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - JON WILLING jwill­ing@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/JonathanWilling

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.

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