2014 has been a tumultuous year for Ottawa’s condo market. Even with prices slumping, Toronto-based developer Mizrahi has submitted new plans for their proposed 12-story condo in Westboro-Wellington. However, it’s run into roadblocks besides the market—namely, the city planning committee.
Details on Mizrahi’s Condo in Westboro-Wellington
The Ottawa Citizen reports that Mizrahi has regrouped after having their first proposal rejected and has pulled together new plans for a condo development at 1445 and 1451 Wellington Street West. The building would contain “ground-level retail, a four-storey underground parking garage and 114 residential units, as well as a plaza with a little parkland and a playground on the west side.”
Visually, the first four storeys of the condo would act as a base podium, while the top two stories would be clad in glass.
Why is the condo facing so much adversity?
The controversy regarding this condo surrounds its size; the proposed building is 12-storeys high, even though zoning laws only allow for 9-storeys. Mizrahi has requested a zoning amendment to account for this, as they claim 12-storeys are required to cover the costs of cleaning up the contaminated site.
Mizrahi said that, “1445 and 1451 Wellington Street West are contaminated by past light-industrial uses on the site, so paying to clean that up is only economically feasible if the company can construct a taller building that will bring in more revenue.”
However, detractors have stated that rather than adjusting zoning policies, it’s instead the brownfields policy—the laws that govern “vacant or underutilized properties where past uses have resulted in actual or perceived environmental contamination, and might feature the presence of derelict or deteriorating buildings”—that should be examined.
Whether or not the condo goes ahead will depend on city planners, and many are suggesting the outlook is grim for Mizrahi unless they lessen the height of the building.
“I imagine nothing has changed from their perspective because of the height issue,” said Kitchissippi Councillor Katherine Hobbs.
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This post was written by John King Team