"We've been in the facility (at 349 Terry Fox Dr.) for eight years," said Steve Cochrane, president of The Corporate Centre Canada, which provides low-cost furnished office space around Ottawa to small companies.
"When we did that for the first few years, it absolutely flew. It was a happening place, and people such as Nortel employees who took (severance) packages were coming in and setting up their own companies, because there was venture capital available," he said.
"But (for three years) it's been slowly dying ... those people aren't able to get the financing or the nest egg to start it off."
However, it's the pending arrival of Ericsson Canada, which signed an agreement to lease the space in the Kanata North Business Park earlier this year, that abruptly sealed the fate of the modest facility.
The building, located east of March Road, is owned by Kanata Research Park, and is said to require extensive fit-ups to accommodate Ericsson's advanced wireless R&D labs prior to next summer's scheduled occupancy.
Mr. Cochrane said he was under the impression TCC and its subtenants could stay until the end of the year, but was subsequently told in July by KRP officials to vacate the space by the end of September.
KRP officials could not be reached for comment.
Ericsson is leasing 200,000 square feet, but has an option to expand its footprint by 40,000 square feet - roughly the rest of the building - in the future.
TCC was leasing about 30,000 square feet, down from 90,000 roughly three years ago, said Mr. Cochrane. Of that, however, they were only subleasing 10,000.
That space is occupied by more than a half-dozen startups, which are now scrambling to find alternative space.
"We have to drop everything, find office space, and get things relaunched. It's a difficult situation," said Escalade IT founder Brad Weber, who's pulled two job postings from his company's website as he searches for new work space.
He said he was first told he could stay at 349 Terry Fox Dr. until at least December, but was informed in mid-August he'd have to be out of his 1,000 square feet by Sept. 25.
Mr. Weber said he's checked his legal options and was told there is nothing he can do. Escalade's sublease with TCC states the firm needs to be prepared to relocate if required, but does not specify a minimum notice time.
"The people in the building had lots of warning this was coming down," said Mr. Cochrane. "It just happened faster than anticipated."
Twenty-year-old TCC has another 30,000 square feet of space in total inside Constitution Square downtown, the Blackwood Centre at 555 Legget Dr. in Kanata and the Queensway Centre at 303 Moodie Dr. in Nepean.
TCC attempted to find alternative accommodations for the soon-to-be displaced tenants in those buildings.
However, Ryan Wilby, another tenant at 349 Terry Fox Dr., said he's been unable to find suitable space elsewhere in TCC's portfolio for his group deal website, Kahoot.ca.
He said he knew going into his six-month lease that he needed to leave by the end of September, but had his relocation date moved up to Aug. 30.
While he's considering banding together with other tenants at 349 Terry Fox Dr. to find a place to work, Mr. Wilby said Kahoot may need to move back to his house, where it was started last September.
"Ideally we all want to stay where we are," he said. "We were happy with the location and the service."