There are three new condo projects being marketed on the west side. Two are from Taggart/Tamarack; and one from Domicile.
The West Wellington condo being proposed by Tamarack goes beside the heritage Grace Hospital structure, on a current parking lot:
above: the parking lot is in the foreground, corner of West Wellington and
Fairmont. Rosemont. The Carnegie public library is behind it; the Grace Hospital to the right.
The current proposal is for this:
(above: from Tamarack web site)
The building height is six or seven floors (no doubt the builder will call it six, with a set-back penthouse, as the CDP calls for six on traditional main streets). The height calculation is complicated by some arrangements to transfer development rights from the Grace building on the right, which is Heritage, as are some blades of grass on the front lawn.
I gather there is also some effort to connect the building to the Carnegie library building behind it, on
Fairmont,Rosemont, which is too small. That heritage structure, initially funded by the patron saint of public libraries, used to have a proper front staircase (learning elevates…) and torch like lamps (the light of learning…) but all that was torn off to make an awful 70’s entrance that now blights the building.
Now squint at the Grace building on the right. It appears to have developed a sunken front courtyard, allowing for a walk-out basement, perhaps a patio (there are tiny umbrellas in the pic) or a reflecting pond (coffee and foot soak, anyone?).
The proposed building only takes up a portion of the entire lot; I gather a much larger building will appear behind the Grace structure.
It might be notable that the West Wellington condo appears on Tamarack’s marketing materials whereas there is no mention of the approved Bronson/Carling high rise tower; nor of the 101 Norman Street mid-rise tower. So we can hazard a guess as to which location they think will sell first (hint: the more walkable one).
Over on Norman, a little dead end street running between Preston and the new OTrain bike and pedestrian path, Tamarack’s proposal there continues to change. Originally proposed as an slim 18 storey tower, it’s now down to a wider 9, beside a lower-rise wing of 5 stories (or as the developer insists, its 3 with a 2 storey setback on top, with a still-slim tower at the end of a podium):
(above: the mid-rise tower is abutting the OTrain greenspace on the left; Preston is a few houses out of the picture, to the right).
I still see significant problems ahead for this building, including the four storey height limit for the low rise portion just set out in the recent CDP; and George Dark’s professional opinion delivered to Planning Committee that even nine stories cannot work on a dead end street.
He suggested a “mews” running along the OTrain corridor, which appears to be (thankfully) comatose right now. The latest “urban amenity plan” now underway by Toronto-based The Planning Partnership favours the developer(s) building private laneways through mid-block, but Taggart/Tamarack haven’t yet bought the house for sale directly behind their building, which would allow them to put a exit onto Beech.
There is no turning around room on the narrow one way street; vehicles have to avail themselves of finding a unused private driveway for turning. Without some way of handling taxis and para transpo to the front door, this may become Ottawa’s first inaccessible building. Who will sue first?
The City is being very adamant that the proponent not address this access issue at the rezoning stage, leaving it for the “details” stage of site plan. How extraordinary! I have no doubt this is because they know the work-around will enrage the public, putting the rezoning at risk.
I’m putting my bets on the city contributing a chunk of the OTrain greenway for a turning circle at the end of the street. After all, the neighbourhood has such an abundance of parkland that the planners now call the slopes of the Queensway “public green space” in a desperate attempt to show some parkland in the coming high rise jungle.
(above: temping OTrain green corridor shown on the left, that some want to pave to improve road access permitting even larger developments)
In another bit of Extraordinary, the width of the zone along the OTrain corridor that is acceptable for mid-rise development doesn’t seem to be subject to any sort of tape measure, ie the size of the zone is left as a general indication on a map. No actual dimensions provided. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the size of the tower seems to have gotten much much wider as it got shorter from its original proposed 18 stories to the current 9. Indeed, it’s an open invitation for developers to push the boundaries, and Taggart seems to be walking through that door.
Over on Preston Street, Domicile has opened its “lifestyle” sales centre for its Rochester Street tower. The sales office skips those tiresome model suites in favour of soft urban pictures of a great neighbourhood to live in. Whether it will continue to be great, or become greater, or become lesser, is a matter of some debate as right across the street from Domicile’s sales centre is Soho Italia and a few doors up, Claridge’s Icon. And a bunch more towers lie lurking in the underbrush.
(above: the exterior detailing continues to evolve on Domicile’s Rochester tower).
The tower has some micro-suites (more like hotel rooms); and a fair number of two and three bedroom units in 1200+ square foot range. There will be storefronts on the ground floor facing Rochester and Pamilla Streets. Indeed, the sales office even mocks up what an Italian grocer might look like.
The front entrance is well handled, with a (hopefully lively) front door cafe:
Local activists are trying to get Rochester developed into a complete street in the process, you can support them at http://completestreetrochester.weebly.com/. Please take a moment to sign on, whatever you think of high rises, we do need better streets than the abominably wide Rochester that is there now.