The Ottawa Public Library will likely be getting cash to buy land for a new central branch.
Yesterday, the city’s corporate services committee unanimously approved spending $26 million to acquire the downtown city block where the branch would be located.
Two-thirds of the underdeveloped property, bounded by Lyon, Albert, Bay and Slater streets, is currently occupied by the Alterna Bank headquarters.
The city will be entering into negotiations to accommodate the occupants’ needs or assist with relocation. If negotiations are unsuccessful, the city could expropriate the property.
The proposed new central branch is estimated to cost $181.5 million, which was set aside for 2012-2018 in the most recent city budget.
Plans are still very preliminary for the building but it is expected to be around 345,000 square feet, and accommodate more than 10,000 visitors per day.
City council still has to approve the funds.