Colonnade Bridgeport files site plans for 24-storey tower on Westboro Trailhead property

An Ottawa developer best known for its office and retail properties is moving ahead with its plans to build a mixed-use high-rise in a rapidly transforming corner of Westboro.

Colonnade Bridgeport, which manages a portfolio of 5.7 million square feet of commercial space, recently filed a site plan application for a 24-storey building at 1960 Scott St., at McRae Avenue and across from the Westboro Transitway station on Scott Street.

While that’s two floors higher than the 22-storey building that was discussed when the property was rezoned this spring, it still falls within the 74.5-metre height limit.

The planning rationale accompanying the site plan application contains several other details about the planned building, designed by Ottawa-based Roderick Lahey Architects. The ground floor will contain nearly 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. A podium extends from the second through sixth floor, with a narrower tower extending up the remainder of the building.

The residential units would consist of 143 one-bedroom and 103 two-bedroom rental units.

The tower would replace the iconic log-cabin style Trailhead Paddle Shack, which the site plan documents say is partially vacant.

Colonnade Bridgeport is also the developer behind the neighbouring Westboro Connection mixed-used office and residential property on McRae Avenue that’s home to Alterna Savings, IT consultant Pythian and a Farm Boy location.

Completed in 2015, Westboro Connection was billed as “the first phase of a major transformation along McRae Avenue” by Colonnade Bridgeport, which called the property “one of the largest underdeveloped sites in Westboro.”

Not everyone is happy with how the transformation is taking shape, however.

During the rezoning process this spring, the councillor for the area – Jeff Leiper – and six of his colleagues voted against raising the height limit above the previous six-floor limit. He specifically objected to what he perceived as ad-hoc intensification in absence of a broader plan.

Mayor Jim Watson, however, highlighted the property’s proximity to the existing Transitway stop, which will be converted to light-rail as part of the planned expansion in the coming years.

“If we’re not going to have density right across the street from a transit station, where are we going to have it?” the mayor was quoted as saying.

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