One city councillor is defending the process that will see city services move from Market Tower to Citi Plaza.
Last week, council approved a plan from city staff to move the services to Citi Plaza in a deal that was made without a request for proposal.
But speaking on The Craig Needles Show on AM980 on Tuesday, Councillor Josh Morgan confirmed that they followed the proper procedures and made the best choice considering the circumstances.
“We followed the real property acquisition policy and in that policy it outlines the range of options that you can use. In some cases an RFP is the option that will drive the most value for your decision making, in other cases it’s not. In this particular case when we’re looking at 60,000+ square feet of rentable space there’s not a lot of those out there in the City of London, particularly if you want to stay downtown, so you can be a little more strategic and you can use a different process,” Morgan explains.
“The process that was used was recommended by our Realty Services staff. It is completely within compliance of the council policy and it is a decision that has gotten us what will be a more functional space at a better value for taxpayers. I think the process has served us well and it will be a good move both from a financial perspective and a service provision perspective.”
Morgan also addressed rumours that the move had anything to do with the relationship between the city and Shmuel Farhi, who owns Market Towner.
“In any negotiations, negotiating with your current lease holder is something you do as part of the normal course of business and that happened as well. One of the options that was investigated was staying in the same spot and what could be negotiated there. Obviously I can’t expose the details of those negotiations but certainly this isn’t about one individual landlord or another. We negotiated with the current landlord, we looked at other options, we made the choice that was the best for Londoners.”
Morgan adds that moving the services, including parks and recreation and social services, will save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year of the lease for a total of $800,000 to $1-million over five years