Claridge’s Icon going up


Claridge’s Icon project at Preston and Carling has reached a new low. The 8 or 9 storey underground parking garage hole has been dug and I hear cement will be pouring before the year is out.

The 45 storey, 485′ high condo tower includes several floors of office space in the podium with some retail at grade. This is about twice the height of the next tallest building in the area, Ashcroft’s yellow-brick rectangular student residence building on Champagne, located beside the first glass tower of SOHO Champagne. Ashcroft’s residence will be completed by August 2016, at which point they start the twin tower between it and the road. The ICON will be ready for occupancy in late 2018. The Richcraft towers proposed for the Dow Honda site will be even taller, and there will be two of them. I wonder if¬†they may proceed as as rental apartments in a bought deal with a major investor, as the condo market is well supplied.


The hole is impressively deep. Shovels at the bottom of the hole lift rock into the long arm of another shovel hanging over the edge. Not a job for anyone afraid of edges, cliffs, or falling rocks. Double click the pictures to enlarge to see the rock transfer taking place and the pieces that bounce out of the scoop.



It is impressive¬†they can create such an accurate, straight edge hole. It looks like they will be able to pour the building walls right against the stone. The parking spaces sell for $35,000 each, but I’m willing to bet that hole and garage costs way more than $35,000 per space created, so even those that buy a unit sans parking will be subsidizing those who do buy spaces. This is because Ottawa buyers baulk at higher prices per space … and builders tell me they cannot fully cost recover the parking facility from parking sales alone. Do the math: area of parking space + access lane divided into $35,000 yields a per square foot selling price of about $100.

By burying some of the parking cost into the general unit prices ($500-600/sq ft) the spaces for the auto-free or car-sharing pay too much for their home (by how much is a builder’s secret, but I’d put it about $50,000 per unit that hasn’t a parking space) and subsidize the car owners. This artificially inflates the cost of the parking-less units and makes housing less affordable. Yet another externality cost of our auto centric society.


Something to think about when looking way way down.

6 thoughts on “Claridge’s Icon going up

  1. I was once told by a builder the cost of a spot in a normal 2-3 level underground residential parking was approximately double the cost that they charged to the consumer.

    Never thought about how it affects pricing for non parking units – very interesting.

  2. But don’t they need to go really deep anyway to provide sufficient foundations for such a (ridiculously tall) building? How shallow could they go if they didn’t have to provide parking spaces?

    1. no, they dont need to go deep at all. Cities that permit parking garages above ground instead of underground may have no basement at all, just build the building starting on bedrock. As for the imagined weight of the building, those 45 floors of concrete will weight much less than the rock removed (eg 45 floors x 12″ thick concrete = 45′ of concrete and the hole is already 8 stories deep x 9′ = 72 feet of rock removed. Au contraire, one engineering problem is to prevent the building from being pushed up out of the hole. I think a bunch of those high rise towers at tunney’s have only a simple basement loading dock, no deep foundations.

  3. The new Glebe parking garage cost about $60K per parking spot for an aboveground 4-story parkade. I would imagine underground parking to be a lot more expensive.

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