Lowertown apartment proposal calls for just 20 parking spots for cars – and 322 for bicycles

Nelson Street development

An Ottawa property developer and a Toronto investment firm are teaming up on a proposed mid-rise apartment building in Lowertown aimed at “young professionals” who cycle or use transit rather than drive.

Smart Living Properties and Forum Equity Partners have applied to the city to build a nine-storey mixed-use building with 322 rental units at 112 Nelson St. The proposal calls for a mix of suite sizes from studios to three-bedroom units. 

Noting that the site is located within a few hundred metres of the Rideau Centre and other retail outlets as well as several bus stops and the Rideau LRT station, the developers are proposing underground parking with just 20 spaces for cars – 14 for residents and six for visitors – but 322 spots for bicycles.

Current zoning bylaws require a minimum of 124 vehicle parking spaces for residents and six for visitors.

“The target is to attract young professionals seeking an urban setting, proximate to the city core,” the brief says, adding the building is expected to include a “diverse” mix of facilities designed to support “active and healthy lifestyles.”

Among the proposed amenities mentioned in the design brief are a gym and yoga room as well as a small retail shop, gaming area and a DIY bike repair workshop.

The L-shaped lot is currently occupied by a two-storey warehouse, which would be demolished to make way for the new development.