O'Brien House still for lease
It’s been over a year and the National Capital Commission still hasn’t found a lessee for the historic O’Brien House in Gatineau Park.
At the end of October 2019, Wakefield Mill owner Bob Milling pulled out of the business saying the boutique hotel was difficult to be economically sustainable.
“As a recently renovated heritage property nestled in the hills of Gatineau Park, the National Capital Commission is seeking to ensure that the O’Brien House remains in operation and accessible to the public. Through the challenges of COVID-19, we are continuing to actively seek a new tenant to lease the site as a destination hotel and restaurant as soon as possible,” NCC strategic communications advisor Sofia Benjelloun wrote in a Nov. 6 email in response to a request from The Low Down.
When asked if there had been any interest from someone willing to take the lease with a yearly rent of $150,000 and eight per cent of revenues over $1 million, she declined to state, explaining it was “to protect [the NCC’s] business interests.” She added that an update will be provided when available.
“As always, the NCC requires that the selected operator respect the site’s cultural fabric and the environmental sensitivity of its location in a conservation park,” Benjelloun wrote.
The 1930s mansion on the shores of Meech Lake at 650 Meech Lake Road in Chelsea was built by railway baron and Montreal Canadiens owner Ambrose O’Brien, and was originally called the Kincora Lodge. The NCC bought it in 1964 and used it as a conference centre.
Milling began the $3.9 million project to restore the building about six years ago and opened it as a hotel in 2018.
People interested in leasing the property can call 613-239-5678 ext. 5619 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.