Claridge proposes next phase of LeBreton Flats development

Plans calls for five mixed-use towers of 25 to 45 storeys with 1,950 residential units near new Pimisi LRT station
LeBreton Flats

Claridge Homes has unveiled plans to build five mixed-use towers ranging from 25 to 45 storeys in the next phase of its development at the east end of LeBreton Flats.

Dubbed East Flats, the project would feature more than 1.5 million square feet of residential space along with nearly 230,000 square feet of commercial space on Booth and Lett streets, northeast of the Pimisi LRT station that is currently being built on Booth Street.

According to plans filed at City Hall in early March, the development’s 1,950 residential units would include “a range of apartment sizes and tenures to accommodate households of a range of compositions and incomes” and a “significant component of affordable housing.”

Proposed commercial and retail uses for the development include a food store, restaurants and “other basic neighbourhood services.” Claridge’s blueprint for the 2.1-hectare site also touts a new city-built public park that “celebrates the heritage of LeBreton Flats” and would run along the historic aqueduct as well as “opportunities for cultural and other institutional uses in the building podiums.”

Claridge has already constructed several residential condo and apartment towers on the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats on land it purchased from the National Capital Commission in 2005. The new project would require additional zoning amendments.

The developer presented an initial concept for the East Flats proposal to city staff and councillors Catherine McKenney and Jeff Leiper in late 2016 and held an open house for the public early last year.

After the meetings, Claridge agreed to reduce the height of the tallest tower from 55 to 45 storeys. Two other buildings would be 30 storeys, while the remaining two would rise 25 storeys. The building heights would not violate regulations governing views of Parliament Hill, the proposal says.

Calls to Claridge Homes, seeking more details about the plan, were not immediately returned.

Underground parking

All parking at the development would be underground.

The project is designed to create a “comfortable and generous public realm that will encourage pedestrian activity, and the future park will also draw people to the area,” the planning application says.

“The density of the development, mix of uses and public realm elements ensure the East Flats becomes a ‘vibrant urban community.’”

The city’s planning committee is expected to consider the application later this spring.

Claridge’s proposal is just the latest construction project in a string of high-profile developments in the neighbourhood of LeBreton Flats, which is expected to undergo a multibillion-dollar redevelopment beginning in the next couple of years.

The RendezVous LeBreton Group backed by the Ottawa Senators and Trinity Developments is negotiating with the NCC to redevelop much of the 21-hectare site, with plans that include a new arena for the NHL club.

Just a few blocks west at 900 Albert St., Trinity and partners InterRent REIT and PBC Real Estate Advisors have begun work on a mixed-use development near the intersection of the Trillium and Confederation light-rail lines. The project is expected to include three towers of 59, 55 and 50 storeys and would feature office and retail space along with 1,000 residential apartment units.

Meanwhile, local builder Windmill Developments is spearheading its $1.2-billion Zibi project nearby on both sides of the Ottawa River. The 15-hectare site is slated to feature an environmentally friendly mix of condos, shops, office space and parks.