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LiveNation to open live music venue at former Chapters building

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The National Capital Commission has confirmed it signed an offer to lease the former Chapters building on Rideau Street to LiveNation to create a live music and entertainment venue in the downtown core.

In a news release on Wednesday, the NCC said the venue is expected to be open in late 2025, after necessary renovations are made to the building.

The property located a 47-57 Rideau Street offers 3,805 square-metres of space above ground and 2,230 square-metres of basement space. In an email, LiveNation confirmed the expected capacity for the venue will be 2,000 people.

"The NCC is pleased to play a positive role in the collective efforts of local partners to revitalize the downtown core of the Capital post-COVID," said the NCC's CEO Tobi Nussbaum in the news release.

"This new state-of-the-art live music and entertainment venue in the heart of downtown will be a great destination for residents and visitors, contribute to increased economic activity for local restaurants and shops, and generate vibrancy and excitement for the National Capital Region as a whole."

LiveNation claims to be the "largest live entertainment company in the world," according to its 2022 annual report. It owns, operates or has exclusive booking rights to 338 music venues worldwide.

The NCC purchased the centrally-located building that was once occupied by Chapters in January for a sale price of $20 million, sources told CTV News. The building is considered to be part of the National Interest Land Mass (NILM) due to its prominent location along Confederation Boulevard and its proximity to many Ottawa landmarks.

NCC officials had been hinting it was looking to make the space into an event centre and was actively seeking tenants.

"Ottawa remains one of the country’s most important markets for live music and our goal is to create a vibrant space where artists and fans can come together to enjoy an unparalleled live entertainment experience," said LiveNation's president of business operations Wayne Zronik in the news release.

"This new establishment will undoubtedly become a cornerstone of the local entertainment scene and a beloved destination for years to come."

The Chapters on Rideau Street had been in business since 1996, but closed in 2022 when parent company Indigo opened a new store in the CF Rideau Centre mall across the street.

"I think it's very exciting," said Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe at a media availability after Wednesday's city council meeting.

"If it proceeds, I think it will be a great attraction and will bring more people and more business to the Byward Market."

The NCC is the largest property owner in the national capital region. It owns more than 1,600 properties in Ottawa and Gatineau, including several commercial, residential and heritage buildings, in addition to the capital's six official residences.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond

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