The 146,500-square-foot class-A office facility is one of several large empty buildings that's kept Kanata’s vacancy rate, which currently sits at around 15 per cent, persistently high in recent years.
A spokesperson for Dell confirmed late on Tuesday that the facility had been subleased, but said he could not provide any additional details.
RIM representatives did not return several calls and emails. When contacted, officials at CB Richard Ellis – which had been marketing the property for sublease – declined comment. Local representatives from Morguard, which manages the building on behalf of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, did not immediately return a message.
The three-storey office building in the Kanata North Business Park has sat vacant since it was constructed in 2008. It was slated to accommodate up to 1,200 employees and be the home of Dell’s high-end client call centre, but the computer giant never occupied the building. Its lease, however, runs until Nov. 30, 2017.
In 2008, HOOPP purchased the building from Brookstreet Research Park Corp. for $35.25 million, according to data from local commercial real estate advisory and appraisal firm Juteau Johnson Comba Inc.
Experts are now asking whether the move represents an Ottawa expansion for RIM, or if they are simply relocating their operations from their existing leased facilities at 450 March Rd. and 3026 Solandt Rd.
RIM also owns a building at 4000 Innovation Dr. in Kanata. The company had filed site plans to construct a new five-storey, 122,450-square-foot office building next to it, but never broke ground, market watchers say.
If RIM is just relocating, the move would have a negligible effect on Kanata’s absorption levels. The western suburb is currently one of Ottawa’s hottest submarkets, with 133,000 square feet of positive office space absorption in the first quarter, according to data from commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.
There is another Dell connection to one of the more significant first-quarter lease transactions in Kanata.
Earlier this year, Hewlett-Packard took two floors, or 104,000 square feet, inside Dell’s former main Ottawa building at 2500 Solandt Rd. The three-storey building has a total of 156,000 square feet, according to the BOMA Commercial Space Directory.