Claridge proposes 14-storey hotel in ByWard Market

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Claridge Homes has officially applied to convert a ByWard Market office building into a hotel.

The developer has submitted an application to the city requesting a change of zoning for the Union of Canada building, which is located at the corner of York and Dalhousie Streets. Documents say it wants to add three storeys to what is now an 11-storey office building.

Claridge is also proposing the construction of a 22-storey building on a site located along George Street, close to Dalhousie Street. This is supposed to be a residential tower, according to city zoning documents.

The developer has previously declined requests to discuss their plans for the building.

The new hotel would add a supply of rooms in a market that hoteliers have found difficult to break into during the past few years. Many developers have preferred to use available land to build condominiums or office towers instead, meaning there hasn’t been much left for hotel development.

The most recent entrant into the Ottawa hotel market, Quebec City-based Groupe Germain Hospitalité, decided to partner with developer Broccolini. It is planning to add a 148-room hotel to the builder’s condominium project on Slater Street.

Claridge has also proposed a 227-vehicle underground parking garage that the two buildings would share, the documents said.

Part of the site sits in the ByWard Market’s Heritage Conservation District, so Claridge is requesting the “heritage overlay” be lifted.

Claridge also wants the city to permit “an outdoor rooftop commercial patio” on top of the 14-storey hotel.

The zoning documents say the city’s planning committee, which is responsible for recommending zoning changes to council, is expected to consider the proposal by the end of March.

Claridge purchased the property last year after regulators ordered the liquidations of the Union of Canada, a 148-year-old Ottawa insurance firm, prompting the sell-off of its assets.

Who’s involved?

Architects: Neuf Architects (Montreal)

Surveyors: Stantec (Ottawa)

Civil engineers: Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd. (Ottawa)

Landscape architects: James B. Lennox & Associates Inc. (Ottawa)