By KRYSTLE CHOW
Published in the Ottawa Business Journal newspaper and website.
June 28, 2011
Click here to view this article on OBJ.ca.
Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has confirmed the location of its new Kanata digs and its continued presence in Ottawa after the federal government takes over the former Nortel campus.
Ericsson, whose lease at the Nortel campus expires in 2012, announced Tuesday that its new Ottawa-based R&D centre would be at 349 Terry Fox Dr. in the Kanata Research Park, an address that was earlier identified in an OBJ report in April.
“Ericsson is pleased to move our Ottawa-based employees to a state-of-the-art facility providing leading-edge R&D for global telecom service providers,” said Ericsson Canada CEO Mark Henderson in a statement. “We look forward to remaining in the Ottawa area, one of North America’s leading R&D hubs.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, who attended the event, added, “Ericsson Canada’s announcement … is an important commitment to our technology sector and for the 900 Ericsson employees and their families here in the nation’s capital.”
Spokesperson Patricia MacLean said the new facility will have roughly 200,000 square feet of operational space, with the move from Nortel’s Carling Avenue campus to begin in the summer of 2012 and be completed before the end of that year.
She noted that there are currently no plans to increase Ericsson’s 900-employee head count in Ottawa in conjunction with the move, although the company has the option to expand its space by an additional 40,000 square feet in the future.
The company’s Ottawa facility is focused on long-term evolution wireless research, as well on the development and support of the older code division multiple access, or CDMA, radio access technology.
Ericsson’s commitment to 349 Terry Fox Dr. could help ease Kanata’s high vacancy rate and worries that the city’s battered tech sector will lose another anchor. As well, the move is good news for landlord Kanata Research Park, as the property has been mostly vacant for some time, save for one suite of office space occupied by The Corporate Centre.
Commercial real estate observers have been closely watching the activity for Nortel’s sprawling 22-year-old, 370-acre campus, which was picked up by the federal government for $208 million at the end of 2010 after months of speculation. The 2.35-million-square-foot property will become the new home of the Department of National Defence’s consolidated operations.
The four current tenants of the campus – Avaya, Ciena, Ericsson and GENBAND, who each bought pieces of Nortel’s business following the fallen tech giant’s bankruptcy in early 2009 – will be forced to vacate the property after their leases expire, although each has a different end date. Together, they occupy about 865,000 square feet in the campus.
Avaya has roughly 400 staff, a footprint of about 100,000 square feet, and its lease is reportedly set to expire sometime between September 2012 and May 2013. Ciena, with 1,200 staff and approximately 265,000 square feet of space, has said it won’t be required to leave the campus until March 2015 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Genband has about 400 people, an approximately 200,000-square-foot footprint and its lease is set to expire in 2014.
See also: Ericsson to stay in Kanata