I’m surprised no one started a thread for this yet, but here we are. Since we have been talking about this on random threads, I thought this certainly deserves its own space.
I’ll start by saying that I don’t have any news on this project, so don’t get your hopes up just yet. For now, this tread will be purely speculative until, hopefully, new revelations will come in on this important downtown landmark somewhere around either September when the OLRT bids come in, October when Sears gets the boot or/and December when a winner is selected to build the rail line. This train will likely be a big deal for the Centre.
Here are a few topics we can start with;
a. Sears. As we heard before, Nordstrom will likely take up the space. So, will they take up the whole space? Will they leave room for a food court/restaurants or other retail on the Mackenzie King Bridge? Will they reface the whole building or cheap out because we’re Ottawa and therefore not Toronto or Vancouver?
b. New hotel of 500 to 600 rooms. Where will it be built? Likely on top of the old registry’s office. Will they move the registry’s office or integrate it with the hotel? Would it have a direct underground pedestrian link, bypassing the mall, to the Convention Centre? Could we connect it and the Rideau Centre itself to Arts Court via a pedestrian tunnel?
c. Rideau Centre expansion. We know it will be north of Besserer (above grade parking garage to stay for a while since it’s new), but how much of the old Ogilvy’s will end up being saved? Although the 2006 plans called for complete demolition and then rebuild the 1908 façade, I would think that the buildings steel construction would still be structurally sound.
d. Connections to the subway. What more can I say
e. How much of these projects can get built at the same time as the tunnel? If you recall a few years back, the centres management said they couldn’t expand at the same time as the Convention centre; can’t be building at both ends at once. Seems hard to expand when the road in front of you is a trench. But then this all depends on when they plan to build Rideau station and how long it will take. Cut and cover (likely) or bored, but this opens up a whole new can of worms that might provide us answers in September (or at least December).
f. Will Cadillac Fairview want to expand their land holdings near the Rideau Centre for future expansions in 20+ years?
To give you all an idea of the Rideau Centre’s position in 2008, here is an article about its past, present (as of 2008), and future;
and a City of Ottawa report on the preservation of the old Ogilvy's Departement Store;
Ladies and Gentlemen, the floor is yours.