1500 Merivale Road: City to provide $665,000 to clean up former CTV Ottawa newsroom site

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The City of Ottawa is set to pay a developer nearly $665,000 to clean up the site of the former CTV Ottawa/CJOH building in the west.

The grounds at 1500 Merivale Road have stood empty since 2010, when a fire destroyed the newsroom. The cause was never determined.

Claridge Homes, which owns the land, plans to build 10 residential buildings on the site ranging from 9 to 13 stories. The proposal will include nearly 2,000 residential units and over 1,100 square meters of commercial space.

The site is now contaminated. The city’s brownfields program allows the city to provide grants covering up to 50% of the cost of remediating brownfields.

The city’s finance and economic development committee will vote on the grant at its June 28 meeting.

The February 2010 fire engulfed the newsroom and caused more than $2.5 million in damage. The fire marshal’s office said at the time that the extent of the damage to the building made it difficult to trace the origin of the fire.

Claridge bought the land for $12 million in February 2021, according to an industry bulletin.

The property covers almost 60,000 square meters and overlooks Clyde Avenue, Merivale Road and Baseline Road.

An environmental assessment shows that the land is contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and that the groundwater contains volatile organic compounds.

City staff estimate the overall economic impact of the development at $350 million in direct construction value, as well as $7 million per year in increased municipal and school taxes by 2034 when the project is complete.

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