Reaching for the stars: Claridge plans to build a 60-story residential tower in Little Italy

The builder of the city’s tallest skyscraper is upping the ante with its latest development proposal – a 60-story tower in Little Italy that would soar more than 40 meters above the current record holder.

Claridge Homes has applied to build a mixed-use residential and commercial complex at 829 Carling Avenue at the northwest corner of Preston Street that would rise to 188 meters. The site is directly across from another Claridge development, the 45-story Icon condo tower which is nearing completion and now holds the title of Ottawa’s tallest building at 143 meters.

Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto, the new project would feature a total of 459 residential units as well as approximately 2,800 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and a “tree-lined promenade” that would connect Carling Avenue and Preston Street.

A combined underground and above-ground parking garage integrated into the building would have spaces for 385 vehicles and 230 bicycles. An amenity space on the eighth floor would include a patio, swimming pool, gym and fitness studio as well as theater, entertainment and meeting rooms.

The 0.4 acre site sits at the heart of what has become ground zero for a series of lofty mixed-use proposals.

A rendering of Claridge’s proposed building at 829 Carling Ave.

While current zoning limits buildings to nine stories, the city’s secondary plan allows developers to go higher on Carling Avenue near the Dow’s Lake LRT station in an effort to encourage intensification. Buildings over 55 storeys require an Official Plan Amendment.

Claridge vice-chairman Neil Malhotra said he did not expect an outcry over the proposed height of the building.

He noted that the city has already opened the door to “very tall buildings” in the neighborhood after green lighting projects such as the Icon and Richcraft’s proposal for a trio of towers as high as 55 stories just in down the street at 845 Carling Ave.

A few hundred meters to the north, Trinity Development Group is aiming even higher, leading a construction plan for a multi-tower project near Bayview station with two skyscrapers over 200 meters high.

“The reality is that we have a real lack of (residential) units in Ottawa,” Malhotra said, adding that market demand will determine whether the project will be a rental property or a condominium.

“We’re going to need bigger, bolder projects to try to address the housing shortage we have in our market.”

Somerset County Catherine McKenney, who represents the area, agreed that the height is unlikely to be an issue for nearby residents.

Benefits of green spaces

McKenney said the neighborhood is already home to a number of skyscrapers, with more being developed. Residents should also benefit from potential investments in local green space that Claridge could make in return for increased height and density, the councilor added.

“That’s where you want scaling up,” McKenney said of the Carling-Preston corridor. “I don’t see this (proposal), at least now, as being too controversial.”

Still, McKenney is concerned about the project’s potential impact on traffic, saying the proposed total of 385 parking spaces is “far too many” for a building less than a block from the Trillium LRT line and just north of the proposed new Civic Hospital campus. .

“We adapt to this type of height because it is (almost) a light rail,” they said. “You can’t come back then and ask for excessive parking of vehicles. That’s something we’re going to have to look at. »

Malhotra stressed that nothing is set in stone, noting that some aspects of the plan such as parking and public realm components could be changed after consultations with city staff and the public.

“It’s the beginning of the process, not the end of the process,” he said. “There are always improvements in any scheduling app.”

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