Alnoor Gulamani says Kanata has a lot going for it.
By Jacob Serebrin
“It’s a great place to live, it’s a great place to bring up a family, it’s a great place to work (and) the transportation network is phenomenal,” he says. “The ecosystem of amenities in Kanata is pretty amazing.”
That’s part of the reason why Mr. Gulamani, president of Toronto-based Bayview Hospitality, wants to build in the area.
His company is in the final stages of the development application process for a hotel and apartment building. He says he hopes to break ground before the end of the month.
The plan calls for two six-storey buildings at 1100 Canadian Shield Ave., near the Kanata Centrum and the Highway 417 / Kanata Ave. interchange.
One building will have 105 rental apartments. The other will be a 100-unit all-suite hotel.
Both are set to open in the spring of 2018.
This will be Bayview Hospitality’s first new development in Ottawa, but not its first property. The company purchased the Days Inn Ottawa Airport earlier this year.
The new Kanata hotel will be the first Homewood Suites by Hilton facility in the Ottawa area.
It will be aimed at business travellers, families travelling with children and people relocating to the area, Mr. Gulamani says.
“We thought that Ottawa was going to be an interesting market for us, given the fact that the all-suite, extended-stay concept is really geared to travellers that stay more than a couple of nights,” Mr. Gulamani says.
Kanata is particularly attractive, he says, because the tech industry brings a lot of people in on three- to six-month contracts and projects.
“They need a bit more than a just regular hotel room, but yet they’re not staying long enough to lease an apartment or buy a house,” Mr. Gulamani says.
The apartment component of the project will be connected to the hotel through a two-storey building that will include a pool, fitness centre and open terrace.
Mr. Gulamani says there’s been very little purpose-built rental apartment construction in Ontario since the 1970s. Much of the existing supply is getting old as a result, which means the choices are limited for renters looking for modern space and amenities, he says.
“There’s a difference between renting a condo and renting a unit in a purpose-built, professionally managed building,” he says.
The building will include significant common space and planned events. The two buildings will share many amenities including the pool and fitness centre.
Mr. Gulamani says the apartment building will be aimed at young families that aren’t ready to buy a house as well as diplomatic staff working in Ottawa on one- or two-year contracts.
He also expects the building to attract some older residents who want to downsize.
The building will be constructed in accordance with the city’s plan to increase density in the “city centre” of Kanata.
“It’s going to be urban and it’s going to be accessible by foot and by folks using public transportation,” Mr. Gulamani says.