College begins search for new home
The College’s 16-year occupancy lease will come to an end in 2012.
Negotiated in 1996, the lease was the lowest of its kind for commercial office space in downtown Toronto’s property leasing market.
The lease was signed at the end of a six-year slump in rental rates and included a one-year rent-free period.
Fast forward 12 years and the College is now facing the prospect of a base rent that will double from $12 to more than $24 a square foot.
In an effort to stabilize long-term facility costs, the College Council voted on March 27, 2008 to purchase a new facility to house the College’s operations.
The decision came after an ad hoc committee took an in-depth look at all of the options available – lease, buy and renovate, or design-build.
“While leasing at our current location remains an option, the cost of doing so would be greater over the long term than a facility owned by the membership,” says Director of Corporate and Council Services Richard Lewko.
The College’s facility-search strategy, approved by Council, will provide suitable premises in the best location with low and stable long-term occupancy costs. The new facility will need to meet standards identified by the search committee, including environmentally friendly design and operation features such as water savings, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality.
“We want to ensure that the College is a leader in energy-efficient design and that we have a facility that is accessible to members, applicants, employees and the general public,” Lewko said.