Jadco Group revives plans for Medical Arts Building condo in Ottawa’s Centretown

Medical Arts Building
The Medical Arts Building at the southwest corner of Metcalfe and Nepean streets.

A Quebec-based developer is reviving plans for a 27-storey mixed-use highrise on Metcalfe Street that would incorporate elements of the Art Deco-style heritage building currently on the site.

Jadco Group has applied to the city to demolish the interior and rear wall of the six-storey Medical Arts Building at 180 Metcalfe St., which has been designated a heritage structure.

Constructed in 1928, the L-shaped building with distinctive copper panels and geometric buff-coloured brick is considered a “neighbourhood landmark” due to its prominent location at the corner of Metcalfe and Nepean streets, according to a heritage impact statement prepared by Robertson Martin Architects. The building’s interior does not have heritage protection.

Jadco’s proposal calls for a six-storey podium that would include a retail component, topped by a 21-storey tower with 303 residential apartment units. Six floors of underground parking would be accessed from Nepean Street and have space for 198 vehicles, with 173 spaces reserved for residents. Communal outdoor patios would be located on the roofs of the podium and the residential tower.

The building’s proposed height of 84.5 metres is slightly higher than the 83-metre limit allowed under current zoning bylaws.

180 Metcalfe St.

The project previously went before council three years ago. At the time, the plan featured 206 condo units and a 140-suite hotel in addition to retail space.

The councillor for the area, Catherine McKenney, said a hotel was inappropriate for the site and wanted the plan to include more three-bedroom apartments to house families living in the downtown core.

After the first vote lost on a tie, council approved the zoning and official plan amendments for the project in September 2015 but said a hotel could be built only if the developer contributed $200,000 towards parks and recreational facilities for the neighbourhood.

The hotel has been scrapped in the new plan.