Windmill Development’s vision for the underused area around Chaudiere Island on the Ottawa River will take a step closer to becoming reality sometime in the next two weeks.
© Image courtesy of Shanta Rohse / Wikipedia Commons
Chaudière Island, as seen in 2006.
That’s when Jeff Westeinde, the company’s founding partner, said he expects the company will finalize negotiations with the seller, Domtar Corp.
Windmill has been outlining its vision for the site since July, when company officials revealed they had signed a letter of intent to purchase 37 acres of land on and around the site just north of the LeBreton Flats.
The company wants to build a mixture of hotels, condominiums and office space at the site – all of which it hopes to develop according to the high environmental standards in which it specializes.
Once the purchase is complete, it will then be up to Windmill to get the proper zoning for its plans. This will be no small task, given that the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau and the federal government’s National Capital Commission all have a stake in the land.
However, Mr. Westeinde said he’s optimistic all the parties will be able to work together. Both municipalities have, for example, agreed to a single design review panel to go over the company’s plans.
“Our initial consultations with both the City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau have been very positive,” he said. “They’re quite excited about the opportunity to have the private sector lead the development of our waterfront.”
Mr. Westeinde said he expects to have the zoning approved sometime in the next 18 months. Development would then start soon after that.
The company plans to purchase Albert Island, the parts of Chaudiere Island that Hydro Ottawa doesn’t own and 22 acres in Gatineau on land that used to be Wright Island.
Windmill has numerous broad objectives for the site, he said. Among these are a desire to increase ecological activity, reconnect the city to the waterfront and celebrate the history of the Algonquin First Nation.
The company is going to go over its plans for the development in more detail as part of public information sessions planned for November.
Mr. Westeinde spoke Tuesday morning at Eggs n’ Icons, a breakfast series co-hosted by OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.