Walton lists 300-acre south Kanata property up for sale

Peter Kovessy
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After spending several years pushing the city to open up a massive swath of land in southwest Ottawa for development, Walton Ontario has put a 300-acre parcel up for sale.

Walton's 300-acre parcel is located between Eagleson and Old Richmond roads, immediately south of the Bridlewood community.

The farmland listed by real estate services firm CBRE is located between Eagleson and Old Richmond roads, immediately south of the Bridlewood community, and represents only a fraction of the 3,000 acres Walton owns in the area.

In a statement accompanying its third-quarter financial results, released Monday evening, Walton said the time frame for the company to hold its interest in the property as an investment “has exceeded the original anticipated two- to four-year time horizon” and that the firm “continues to work with CBRE ... to seek market opportunities for the property.”

Even though CBRE lists the land as “for sale” and “an opportunity to acquire one of the largest future development sites in the Kanata South area,” a Walton executive told OBJ on Tuesday that “nothing has changed.”

“We’re not interested in disposing of the property,” said senior vice-president Fareed Amin.

“CBRE (can) bring interested individuals to work with us in developing the property.”

The lands fall outside Ottawa’s urban boundary, which means most forms of development on the property are generally prohibited.

The city reviews the urban boundary every five years and considers whether there is a sufficient amount of land available for future development.

Those debates typically pit homebuilders and commercial landowners such as Walton against individuals who want to restrict expansions of the urban boundary as a way of limiting sprawl.

Despite hiring several lobbyists to press its case, Calgary-based Walton was unsuccessful in convincing city council in 2013 that its lands were needed to accommodate Ottawa’s future growth.

Walton said it appealed that decision to the Ontario Municipal Board, which earlier this year instructed the city to complete more studies on its land supply before it would reconvene a hearing.

The company does not have a specific development proposal for the property, but Mr. Amin said it would likely be a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses.

Despite Walton’s prolonged push to expand the urban boundary to include its lands, Mr. Amin said Ottawa is still a “great” place for Walton to do business.

“Councillors are engaging, they’re open, they’re interested in development that makes sense, they want to grow the community, they want to create jobs,” he said.

“All their objectives are objectives we can relate to and we can work with.”

Organizations: Ontario Municipal Board

Geographic location: Ottawa, Kanata, Bridlewood Kanata South

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