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The Rideau Centre expansion would be completed in 2015 if approved. (Google Street View)

The Rideau Centre will undergo a $250 million major facelift over the next three years, including the addition of 180-thousand square feet of space, according to owner Cadillac Fairview Corp.

Centre general manager Cindy Vanbuskirk said the hope is to expand by close to 20 per cent in floor space on the corner of Nicholas and Rideau Street, an area that is right now a parking lot.

Cadillac Fairview Corp.'s board must first give final approval for the plan, and then city council must approve the expansion.

The Bayshore shopping centre is also taking on a $200 million expansion and earlier this week the Landsdowne project got the green light from Ottawa city council for a $500 million redevelopment.

Vanbuskirk said the retail space boom is a sign that Ottawa, with a population approaching one million people, has "grown up" as a city.

"I think there's growing recognition of Ottawa as a place for retail investment, foreign retailers, U.S. retailers want to locate here, developers and pension funds and ownership structures are prepared to invest in existing assets which is what you are seeing at Rideau Centre as well as at Bayshore," said Vanbuskirk.