Cadillac Fairview, the Rideau Centre’s landlord, owns a 70,000-square-foot development site at the corner of Nicholas and Rideau streets that is currently being used as a surface parking lot.
In 2010, the mall’s general manager Cindy VanBuskirk told OBJ that an expansion is generally expected before 2014.
“Prime real estate in the heart of the nation’s capital is not going to sit undeveloped for long,” she said.
Cadillac Fairview also owns a 34,600-square-foot development site that runs along Nicholas Street, between the Mackenzie King Bridge and Daly Avenue, that features the old Land Registry Office Building.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. chairman Paul Godfrey and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson have both expressed a preference for a downtown Ottawa casino.
Rideau Carleton Raceway:
There are 500 acres waiting for redevelopment in the area surrounding the current racing and gaming facility on Albion Road, according to spokesperson Alex Lawryk.
The raceway even has a group in mind that it would employ as a casino operator, he said without mentioning names.
“(Our site) doesn’t impact any community negatively,” he said. “We have run responsible gaming there for many years.”
And successfully, too – the casino presently attracts 1.7 million patrons a year, which is 40 per cent of the market share. The other 60 per cent goes across the Ottawa River to Casino du Lac-Leamy.
But an expansion of the casino, as well as of traffic-generating amenities including hotels and theatres, would increase that market share, according to Mr. Lawryk.
Ongoing infrastructure projects such as the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge and the widening of Bank Street also make Rideau Carleton a feasible option.
In a note to city councillors earlier this month, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he thinks the raceway deserves to be placed on the shortlist if the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. seeks bidders. The OLG, however, responded that this wouldn’t be possible while maintaining a fair and transparent bidding process.
If the Rideau Carleton Raceway doesn’t win the bid, its slots would be removed because the OLG is only looking for one casino in Ottawa.
Ottawa International Airport
When Shenkman Corp. developed the CE Centre on airport property, it spent millions of dollars servicing the land to accommodate future development.
The area surrounding the airport is the property of Transport Canada, but was leased to the Ottawa International Airport Authority for a 60-year term that began 15 years ago. As such, the airport authority is able to lease land out to developers, which currently include the CE Centre, two hotels and the T&T Asian supermarket.
In the 2008 airport master plan, the authority outlined “the intent for future growth and development of airport lands over the planning period 2008 to 2030.”
The airport will place a priority on aviation development but will allow non-aviation options in “areas that make sense,” the director of airport planning, Ann Tremblay, told OBJ in an interview earlier this year.
An airport authority spokesperson would only say that the casino is currently a “city issue.”
When Bruce Firestone’s firm Terrace Investments purchased 600 acres of farmland on Palladium Drive, 100 of those acres were used for the development of Scotiabank Place and the other 500 were sold after being rezoned for commercial use.
Some of that land has been developed into car dealerships. The area will soon be the site of Ottawa’s first outlet mall, to be developed by RioCan REIT and U.S.-based Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. as early as mid-2014.
Not all of the land has been developed, however, and could potentially accommodate a casino.
Ottawa Train Yards
Marty Koshman, president of the growing shopping development, said the Train Yards is “definitely” interested in casino development on its land.
The rapidly developing commercial node east of downtown has space, ample parking and the potential to connect to the Transitway through an underground tunnel envisioned as part of an office development on lands owned by VIA Rail. With hotels, a baseball stadium and St. Laurent Shopping Centre nearby, the location is quickly becoming a destination hub, Mr. Koshman said.
The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill is visible from the site, and two nearby Queensway on-ramps get drivers downtown in minutes.
With about 130 acres of space, much of it still vacant, Mr. Koshman said he thinks the Train Yards would be a good fit for a casino.
“We think we’re more or less centrally located, and we could be a good choice,” he said, adding that at this point he’s not sure how far the company will go to secure its spot as a casino contender.
Claridge Homes-owned land
Claridge Homes is rumoured to be exploring the possibility of hosting a casino on one of its properties. But Neil Malhotra, vice-president of the Ottawa-based homebuilder, said that he would rather not comment on whether any of Claridge Homes’ land would be up for casino development.
The company does, however, own a 41,354-square-foot lot on the northwest corner of Albert and Lyon streets, as well as many other vacant parcels of land across the city.