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Advisory to the Neighbourhood—West Side Update

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This neighbourhood advisory is an update on the plans for the west side of the Canadian Museum of Nature, specifically as a follow-up to the RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest) issued in autumn 2012 for a third-party developer of underground parking.

The museum received three responses to its call. One of them was for the provision of advisory services and therefore was put aside. The two other proponents expressed an interest with reservations.

The museum met individually with the two proponents and, at the meetings, both confirmed their interest in working with the museum to construct, finance, maintain and operate an underground parking facility with a third party at the Victoria Memorial Museum Building. Both proponents, however, also confirmed that the economic model presented was problematic and was a major impediment to the realization of the project; therefore, the museum will not be moving forward with this option.
 
To date, the museum has significantly optimized its west temporary parking by removing an additional 12 parking spaces and increasing the green space surrounding the parking. This action and others has reduced the number of parking spaces on the west side of the museum from 180 to 96.

This new number reflects the museum's immediate needs and is in line with its historical number of parking spaces on site, albeit on a smaller footprint. The museum can now confirm that these 96 spaces, combined with the existing 96 spaces on the east side, represent the optimal requirement to allow the museum to fulfill its mandate.

Therefore, at this time the museum would like to re-engage with the National Capital Commission regarding the approval for a 96-space surface parking on the museum's west side. This would be a medium-term measure until the museum successfully repatriates the Metcalfe Street extension and constructs an underground parking facility by a third-party developer on the east side, which is consistent with its long-term site plan.

For now, this is the current status and the museum will keep you apprised on any further updates. Although we cannot confirm an actual date at this time, we expect that we will be able to hold a Public Information Session in spring.

For additional information, please visit the museum's web site at nature.ca/west.

Sincerely,

Margaret Beckel
President and CEO
Canadian Museum of Nature
questions@mus-nature.ca