Client Profile

Located minutes from downtown, in the heart of Ottawa’s vibrant Westboro community, 319 McRae is situated directly between Scott Street and Richmond Road.

The mixed-use development includes a 114,000, 6 storey class A office building designed to LEED Silver certification, 138 luxury rental apartment units, a two-level underground parking garage, and 35,000 square feet of retail, including Farm Boy, a fresh produce grocery store.

The Solution

Altus Group’s Cost Consulting team provided services to both the developer Bridgeport and to the lenders at the real estate banking division of The Bank of Nova Scotia.

For the developer, Altus acted as the Payment Certifier. This involved regular visits to the construction site to review the progress of the works and to determine the value of work completed by the Contractor during the previous month. As Payment Certifier, Altus also verified and certified Substantial Completion of the project allowing for the release of holdback monies to the Contractor. Altus is recognized within the industry for its independence and impartiality in these matters and was therefore readily accepted by both parties.

For the lending bank, Altus acted as the Project Monitor, assessing the value of works to be completed each month during the construction period. This required meetings with all parties, regular site visits, budget review and control, and the issuing of monthly reports.

Altus Group’s Property Tax team was involved in this project from a very early stage. They were initially engaged to provide advice with respect to realty tax incentives for a Brownfields redevelopment, and later in preparing various tax models for development scenarios.

The Property Tax team worked with Bridgeport in researching and analyzing the impact on assessment and taxation under various ownership structures, with a goal of establishing the lowest possible realty tax expense for the development.  Altus Group’s detailed understanding of the assessment and taxation of complex ownership and development projects, enabled them to provide the most proactive and detailed insight on even the most intricate development situations, delivering tangible value for their clients.

To ensure favorable property tax liability throughout all phases of the project, the Property Tax team took on a proactive approach by commencing negotiations with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) with the aim of establishing a fair and equitable assessment and property tax benefits for the owner.

Altus Group’s Research, Valuation and Advisory team provided both consulting and valuation services to the developer Bridgeport throughout the planning and construction phases.  Consulting services included residential (rental and condominium) and office market surveys, as well as data and analysis for use by the developer in their development proformas. Valuation services included the appraisal required to secure first mortgage financing. Given the presence of a hydro corridor adjacent to the site, the independent and trusted valuation team also provided valuation services to both Bridgeport and Hydro One Networks Inc. to assist in the establishment of land rent.

The Result

This mixed-use facility is one of the newest developments in Ottawa’s trendy Westboro neighborhood. The finished development took a secondary side street, which was once lined with older industrial uses, and transitioned it to what has become a focal point in the neighbourhood. The office portion opened in late 2015 and the retail and residential residents started occupancy in the spring of 2016.

Altus Group is proud to have supported Bridgeport throughout the entire development of this project.