You probably noticed the construction activity going on around the old Bayview Yards - if not something for LRT, what, exactly, is going on there?
Many local residents have wanted to see the old “City of Ottawa Workshops” building located at Bayview Yards transformed into something, well…prettier and more functional than the historical, but derelict building.
Well - GREAT NEWS; the City of Ottawa, the Federal Government, Ontario Provincial Government and Invest Ottawa collaborated to bring an “Innovation Centre” to Bayview Yards! What exactly is does that mean for Bayview Yards you may ask? According to the Innovation Centre site:
"the location is a one-stop business acceleration shop, and equip our most promising entrepreneurs and technology firms with the technical, business and market capabilities they require to take on the world! It will serve as a springboard for these ventures from start-up to scale-up, helping them to reduce risk, accelerate growth, and spur commercial success and economic development in our community."
Completion of the first-phase will result in a renovated 46,000 square foot municipal building just a short walk away from an LRT station that will provide physical space, specialized tools and equipment, technical and business expertise, resources and other services for Ottawa entrepreneurs, with the goal of building successful startups.
Innovation Centre board vice-chair Jeff Westeinde noted that the “fairly large auditorium meeting space” will be the focal point of the renovated, LEED Gold certified Innovation Centre.
The proposed phase two of the Innovation Centre would consist of a 12-storey tower, which could begin construction after Phase One opens in Fall 2016. The proposed tower would provide another 180,000 square feet of space for companies to move into, with priority going to the startups that emerge from the Innovation Centre’s incubators.
Innovation Centre board vice-chair Jeff Westeinde stated, “market demand will determine the future of Phase Two.” Likewise, he likened the fully-completed Innovation Centre to being an embassy for the private sector.
The existing “City of Ottawa Workshops” building was constructed in 1941 to be a city works yard where maintenance, storage, and machine work. The building operated in this function until around the year 2000 when it ceased operations, and has been sitting vacant ever since, save for wildlife that have occupied the building since the last tenants moved out.
Bayview Yards has NOT had its official opening yet, but it is OPEN! SO why not pop over and take a look - who knows you might just get inspired with the next BIG idea...