A prominent Ottawa firm known for its environmentally friendly housing projects wants to build a new group home for adults with physical disabilities as well as two highrises containing hundreds of residential units near the former site of the Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre.
Windmill Development Group recently filed an application to construct three buildings with a total of 510 residential suites at 2475 Regina St., near the northwest corner of Richmond Road and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.
The one-hectare property is currently home to Parkway House, a 12-unit residence for adults with physical disabilities. Windmill plans to tear down the current building, which has occupied the site for more than four decades, and replace it with a new seven-storey building that will include a new home for Parkway House on the ground floor and six floors of residential units above.
According to the application, the aging group home has become “uneconomical to maintain” due to rising operating deficits and needs to be replaced.
Parkway House has signed a redevelopment agreement with Windmill that will see the Ottawa firm construct a new facility and establish an annuity that will cover the group home’s current deficit until the new building is constructed. Another annuity will be established once the new facility is operational to ensure its continued operation.
Pair of highrises
The proposal also includes plans for two highrises of 19 and 25 storeys that would contain a mix of studio apartments as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom suites.
Windmill says it is “currently working through the feasibility of the site to understand the proposed mix of residential rental versus condominium units.” A planning application recently filed with the city says the 19-storey tower will likely be home to rental apartments while the 25-storey highrise would contain “market-value” condominium units.
The developer says it hopes to tap into financing programs provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and groups such as Toronto-based Trillium Housing in a bid to provide affordable rental housing and condo units.
“Alongside a new home for the Parkway House facility, the site will feature new housing, designed and constructed to be one of the most sustainable new development projects in Ottawa,” the application prepared by planning consultant GBA Group says.
Windmill says it intends to pursue a One Planet Living designation for the development – a “framework guiding a complete and comprehensive plan that will tackle climate change, build resilient communities, and regenerate the living systems around us.”
The builder says only two other two other residential communities in Canada currently meet One Planet Living standards, including the Zibi project on the Ottawa River waterfront which Windmill also helped to develop.
Windmill’s plan also calls for two levels of underground parking with 241 vehicle spaces for residents and visitors of the rental and condo units as well as an above-ground sheltered surface lot with 12 parking spots for Parkway House.
While that works out to fewer than one vehicle parking spot for every two residential units, Windmill plans to provide stacked bicycle parking for all 510 suites.
The developer is also proposing almost 3,400 square feet of outdoor communal space on the third floor of the Parkway House structure as well as a combined 6,200 square feet of outdoor terrace space at the other two buildings.
The proposal would require zoning amendments since it exceeds current height limits for the property.