Business park land to be turned into park-and-ride, commercial retail

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The city is looking to purchase a large lot of land designated for business park development to build a park-and-ride next to Barrhaven's future transit station, according to documents filed with the city.

The 13-acre property at 3311 Woodroffe Ave. is owned by the Minto Group, and the city intends to buy two-thirds of it to build parking facilities next to the transit station planned for the southern boundary of the site.

Although the property is designated as a business park, Minto wants to use some of its remaining land to build two single-storey buildings for commercial development as well as mixed-use office space. The buildings would have gross floor areas of 15,995 square feet and 18,245 square feet, according to the document.

On Tuesday, the city's planning committee endorsed the amendment of the business park designation. According to the official plan, any retail, service or restaurant development in a business park needs to be part of an office building and meant for the use of local businesses and employees. The proposed amendment would allow for a standalone retail building on the site, covering only 49 per cent of the property so that the majority remains allotted for office space.

The long-term plan for the property, according to the document, is to build a full office campus.

Barrhaven BIA executive director Andrea Steenbakkers said the development will be a benefit to the suburb's business community.

"It shows how our community is growing, and just how bad the traffic is," she said, adding that Barrhaven is approaching 70,000 residents.

It will also bring people down the main corridor of its business district on Strandherd Drive.

Two existing park-and-rides in the area are already over capacity, Ms. Steenbakkers said - one further west on Strandherd and the other on Fallowfield Road which was expanded last year.

Once the Strandherd-Armstrong bridge is built, Ms. Steenbakkers said she expects to see many commuters from Riverside South using the park-and-ride to take rapid transit downtown.

"It'll bring new people into our community," she said.

When the office market matures, the document states, the rest of the site will be developed as an office campus, but until then it will serve transit users and the Barrhaven community.

Minto declined to comment on the development.