The development of Lansdowne Park has been a polarizing issue for Ottawa. As a Glebe resident, I resisted the idea of a sole-sourced development and was never enthusiastic of the approved plans. We’re well past the point of reasonable resistance, now, and I’ve come around to hoping there’s room for all businesses in the Glebe community (particularly the independents) to succeed alongside Lansdowne.

I’m intrigued by Minto’s efforts to achieve full occupancy of one of the condo buildings on the development site. To the outsider, the building has appeared unfinished and unoccupied for a year. Construction was apparently stalled for many months during that time. I’m no expert in development, but that spells struggle to me.

Minto started promoting the condo this past spring with large posters and sandwich boards pronouncing “it’s now or never” and that this is the “last chance to live at Minto @ Lansdowne.” I’ve heard people chuckle at the slogan, wondering if the building was scheduled for demolition, recounting the lyrics of Hotel California and speculating that a “no resale” clause is part of the sales agreement.

Now, five months since I first took a picture of a “now or never” poster, the campaign slogan is still prominent and apparently trying to sell 13 “last chance” condo units.

Creating immediacy can be good. However, if “now” becomes six months-and-counting and your available product is lingering rather than thriving, you send a terrible message about the worthiness of your product.

In this case, you also send a cautionary political message.

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