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Building History: 2006-2008

October 2006 - RFP to Development Community

The ATF’s successor, the Building Committee, issued an RFP to the development community and over 70 responses were submitted for sites in locations ranging from Oshawa to Barrie. About two-thirds of the responses were new development opportunities for design/build projects. The committee identified the following as constraints at PEO’s 25 Sheppard location that needed be addressed in the proposals:

  • little brand recognition, no external signage;
  • shortage of meeting areas;
  • utilization of meeting areas, lack of flexibility;
  • boardroom configuration;
  • lack of space for interviews of applicants;
  • difficult to hold presentations for large groups;
  • congestion in reception area;
  • lack of flexibility in office layout;
  • building services constrain operations, HVAC off at 7:00 p.m., lights out at 11:00 p.m., limited weekend operation;
  • no street level access;
  • teleconferencing not integrated with microphones;
  • no video or web conferencing capability;
  • difficult to move meeting to dealing with material electronically;
  • HVAC noisy, wide temperature variations;
  • limited/expensive parking;
  • limited storage

2005-2008–The Search

The ATF and the Building Committee looked at over 100 opportunities, in addition to the ones identified in the above RFP process. Council approved detailed criteria to guide the search:

  • Essential: within the City of Toronto; at least 50,000sf; security for volunteers and staff at night; adequate security for record storage; ownership to be able to control the property and to qualify for reduced municipal tax assessment; safe parking space for at least 50 vehicles; accessible by car and transit–for staff, volunteers, members, licence holders and applicants; no environmental concerns
  • Highly Desirable: appropriately supports the professional image of PEO and professional engineering; within 1 km of a subway station; showcases respect and concern for the environment (i.e. LEED® certification); signage to identify PEO; additional parking; annual cost of ownership/sf–operating and investment costs–about the same as PEO’s then present base rent, operating and parking costs; ability for exceptional meeting space (i.e. auditorium, public meetings, seminars, proctorored exams etc); location that aids in attracting staff and volunteers
  • Desirable: in an area surrounded by attractive buildings and other public amenities; in the vicinity of employers of professional engineers; within 2 kms of business class hotel and restaurants; public archive spaces to showcase professional engineering; underground parking for 50 cars; additional public parking within 500 metres; proximity to amenities that staff may take advantage of; able to provide business centre for members’ and applicants’ use.

There were seven properties that were on the market at the time that reached the Letter-of-Intent stage, but were rejected by Council. The common theme for rejection was that Council wanted a more impressive building and the locations were not as good as 25 Sheppard.