Commercial office space being built at the new Lansdowne Park isn't attracting much interest so far due to site challenges including parking, says a commercial tenant representative.
Construction work continues at Lansdowne on condominiums, restaurants and offices and two major retailers are opening this week: Whole Foods Market and Sporting Life.
But so far, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, or CIRA, has been the only organization to announce it will be relocating to Lansdowne.
CIRA's corporate headquarters are expected to move in during spring 2015.
Several floors of commercial office space at Lansdowne remain without a tenant.
'It's really challenging,' broker says
The lack of interest mainly comes down to parking, said the man who helped broker the CIRA deal.
"From the office market, it's really challenging. The parking at that site is tricky and it's not easy," said Darren Fleming, a managing principal at Cresa Ottawa, which represents commercial tenants.
"There's probably going to be 10 to 20 days a year where parking is going to be really challenged because people are coming for a game or a concert, and that just doesn't work for a lot of organizations."
Fleming said CIRA chose Lansdowne to "make a statement."
"It's a very visible site, there's a lot of attention and activity around it, so they're choosing to be there in spite of some of the challenges because of where and what it is," Fleming said.
'People want to be in this area,' BIA chair argues
Greg Best — chair of the Glebe Business Improvement Area, which includes Lansdowne — agrees parking is a major issue. But he thinks the new park will still attract commercial tenants to the office tower.
"People want to be in this area," Best said.
"You're close to the canal, everything's within walking distance, you're two minutes to the Queensway... It's a heavily treed area, there's a lot of parks, a lot of bikeways. So you don't get that in downtown Ottawa."
Bernie Ashe, the CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, said there are no new announcements about office tenants.
Leasing activity is underway and progress is being made, Ashe said.
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