Carleton University decides against private builder, manager for new residence
By Neco Cockburn, OTTAWA CITIZEN January 14, 2014 7:00 PM
OTTAWA — Carleton University plans to build and operate a new student residence on its own, rather than team up with a private developer.
The university had tested the waters for having a private organization build and manage a new 500-bed residence planned for its campus. It formally sought expressions of interest and came up with a shortlist of potential partners.
After comparing the best proposal with details of an in-house project, the university determined that the return on investment would be greater if the university handled everything itself, said Darryl Boyce, Carleton’s assistant vice-president, facilities management and planning.
“There were a number of components that added up to a significant difference if we do it ourselves,” Boyce said.
The university can get better loan rates than developers could manage, he said, and would be exempt from development fees and property taxes if it went ahead with the project on its own.
Property taxes alone would cost more than $500,000 a year on a third-party project, Boyce said. The residence is expected to provide about $5 million a year in revenue.
After making the decision, the university issued a formal call for proposals from design teams and was to hold interviews on Wednesday. The residence is expected to cost about $40 million, Boyce said.
The building is to stand north of the Leeds building on campus and will be aimed at students who aren’t in their first year. The university has said it has a waiting list of about 600 mostly upper-year students who want to be on campus but can’t be accommodated.
The university hopes to begin construction by August and open the residence by the fall of 2016.
The building’s location means that a community garden run by the Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association is to be moved, and discussions have been taking place between the association and administration.
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