Twelve-storey student residence proposed for Bronson and Carling

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A student residence developer is proposing a 12-storey, 172-unit tower a kilometre north of Carleton University, near the intersection of Bronson and Carling avenues.

If approved, it would be the the latest in a growing line of student housing projects constructed by private developers, who analysts say stand to make more money on student residences than traditional apartments.  

Textbook Suites, based in Concord, Ont., is asking the city for several bylaw amendments surrounding height and parking spaces to get approval for its plans on Bronson Avenue.

The proposed building would be constructed on a vacant lot slightly less than an acre in size and have additional frontage on to Cambridge Street South.

The building would contain a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom rental apartment units as well as retail space at ground level.

With the student market in mind, the property is also one kilometre north of Carleton University and an approximately 20 minute bus ride to the University of Ottawa’s downtown campus.

Under a previous owner, development plans for the Bronson property were approved a 12-storey tower alongside a six-storey condominium. Textbook Suites plans for just the tower, and will apply to expand the previously-permitted 12-storey height to expand to the west and south of the building. As compensation, the tower will have setbacks at the fifth, eighth, 10th and 12th storeys to concentrate density towards Bronson Avenue.

The other major area Textbook is seeking an amendment is in parking.  The current minimum allowance for parking spaces is one for every two residential units, which Textbook would like to see reduced.

The developer proposes 38 parking spaces, 17 residential and 21 for visitors, the majority of which will be underground. One bicycle parking space per unit is also proposed.

In a report being tabled at the city’s planning committee on Jan. 24, staff say that the target student demographic is less likely to own vehicles, and that this reduction in requisite parking should be manageable, without the need for significant on-street overflow. Overall, staff recommend the planning committee approve of the bylaw amendments when it meets on Tuesday, January 24th.

Planning committee approved a lack of residential parking last year for another Textbook Suites property, a pair of 26-storey towers at Rideau and Besserer streets, again citing the student population’s tendency not to own vehicles as justification.

Late last year, Choo Communities - an affiliate of Ashcroft Homes - opened the first phase of its Envie student residences in Little Italy. A second tower is under construction and is scheduled to be completed next year.