CAPE on the Move

October 24, 2003

Our New Home

As of December 1, 2003, the fourth floor of 100 Queen Street will become the new National Office of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE).

“The Association is fortunate to have found a new home at the World Exchange Complex, particularly in light of the red hot real estate market in the National Capital Region,” said Association President Bill Krause.

The move culminates nearly 9 months of intensive work since the memberships of SSEA and CUPTE voted to merge and form a new union. The Association has relied upon the judgment and advice of experts in real estate markets (Royal Lepage), office accommodation and design (Disegno Interiors Ltd.), contractual lease negotiations (Ogilvy Renault), not to mention assistance and advice from our auditors (Tom Foran), labour lawyers (Engelmann, Gottheil) the hard work of an Accommodations Committee, and intense discussions by the National Executive Committee. With the further assistance of our computer experts (Bridgetech Systems), and furniture supplier (Johnsons), all elements necessary to create a new office and infrastructure which will better serve our membership have been put in place.

Your New National Office

Located at the World Exchange Plaza, CAPE’s new office will provide complete space for its staff of 20, with expansion space for additional staff, and complete meeting facilities with built in interpretive services and audio/video capabilities. Meeting facilities will accommodate discussions between members and their labour relations officers, bargaining committees, locals, the local leadership committee, the Finance Committee, Executive sub-committees and the National Executive Committee.

“We will be able to accommodate virtually all Association meetings without relying on expensive hotel locations. This is the most efficient and least expensive way for the Association to conduct its business meetings,” said Krause.“We needed to allow for expansion space at the outset. The red hot commercial real estate market, which is being fueled by an aggressive Federal Government space acquisition program, has placed a premium on office space. With no forecast of any softening of the market, it was essential that we take a long term view of our new home. This space will serve the Association for the next decade,” added Krause

Our tight time line to make our new offices operational and to sublease our existing offices at the earliest date will see a two phase approach to implementation. Staff offices will be completed and occupied by early December. Other facilities and larger conference rooms will take until February to complete.

The Options

At the outset the National Executive Committee came to agreement that the best location for the office was in central Ottawa. On the critical issue of owning our own building, the Transitional National Executive Committee felt that ownership and assuming the role of a commercial landlord would detract from our focus on forming a new union and serving its members. Having engaged Royal Lepage as our agent, we conducted a market analysis and examined some 9 different properties. Owing to the Federal Government’s program of office space acquisition, there has been a shortage of office space in the national capital region. Most available sites were too small and lacked any potential for expansion. The size of space required, some 15,000 square feet, effectively limited our choices to 2 sites, and in the end the World Exchange Plaza was the best deal which met all operational requirements.

“We took over an existing lease (sublet), and were able to negotiate a great deal. However, in the current market, even the best deal isn’t cheap. Even our current locations, though too small and infeasible as National Offices, would have more than doubled our rental expenses. Fortunately, our reserves give us the potential to create a new and more effective National Office and absorb the additional costs for the next few years,” said Krause.