Fengate to build 1,900 residential units at pair of prime Ottawa development sites

1047 Richmond Rd.
Fengate Asset Management plans to build three apartment highrises ranging from 36 to 40 storeys at 1047 Richmond Rd. Image courtesy Fengate Asset Management

Fengate Asset Management says it plans to build more than 1,900 residential units at two coveted development sites in Ottawa as the Toronto-based company ramps up its investment in the National Capital Region.

Fengate said earlier this week it has purchased a one-acre site at 1209 St. Laurent Blvd., across from the St. Laurent Shopping Centre, as well as property at 1047 Richmond Rd., a few blocks northwest of the Carlingwood Shopping Centre near an LRT station that’s now under construction.

Fengate says it purchased both parcels of land on behalf of investors that include the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Fengate partnered with Montreal-based Canderel Management to buy the St. Laurent Boulevard property from a private vendor in an off-market deal. The firms plan to build a pair of 30-storey apartment towers containing a total of more than 600 rental units in a variety of suite types and sizes.

The site is already zoned for residential construction. Fengate said the companies hope to break ground on the project within the next 12 months.

Growing office sector

“With its proximity to the new (St. Laurent) transit station and retail amenities, along with the growing office sector in Ottawa’s east end, the site presents a great opportunity to introduce new and much-needed rental options in the area,” Jaime McKenna, Fengate’s managing director and group head of real estate, said in an email to OBJ. 

It’s the first joint project for Fengate and Canderel. McKenna said the two firms have “aligned interests” to develop highrise residential buildings and were looking for an opportunity to work together.

“After considering different projects to co-develop with Canderel, we finally found the right fit in this transit-oriented site,” she said in an email to OBJ.

In another major deal, Fengate has also purchased a prime development site at 1047 Richmond Rd., where it plans to build three highrises ranging from 36 to 40 storeys that will include about 1,300 residential suites as well as retail space. 

Chrysler dealership on site

The land is now occupied by a Chrysler dealership, and Fengate said that business plans to relocate and continue its operations at another site. While residential uses are permitted under current zoning bylaws, Fengate says it plans to seek zoning and Official Plan amendments to accommodate the project’s proposed scale.

The company said there is currently no firm timetable for construction, noting it’s still in the “preliminary stages” of planning the project.

“Acquiring this site on behalf of our investors is in line with our investment strategy to develop residential real estate assets in transit-oriented nodes,” McKenna said. “The adjacent transit station and the numerous urban amenities in the Westboro neighbourhood make this an ideal location to introduce new and enhanced rental supply.”

Fengate says the acquisitions are part of its long-term plan to expand its footprint in the Ottawa market. 

The company made its initial foray into the market in 2019, when it partnered with Regional Group on the Greystone Village housing development in Old Ottawa East.

McKenna said the firm sees “significant potential” for further residential development in Ottawa, citing factors such as the capital’s “strong employment fundamentals,” growing population, expanding transit system and tight housing market. 

“Even during the most challenging periods of the pandemic, Ottawa’s rental market saw high rental growth and stable vacancy, outperforming many other urban areas,” she said.