Richcraft proposes trio of residential towers near Baseline station

Centrepointe towers

Years after scrapping a controversial plan to construct a trio of 15-storey condos near Algonquin College, an Ottawa developer has submitted a new proposal calling for three highrises of more than 20 storeys each at the site.

In planning documents recently filed at City Hall, Richcraft Homes says it wants to build three residential towers of 22, 24 and 26 storeys at 19 Centrepointe Dr., less than half a kilometre from the Baseline transit station that will be part of phase two of light rail. The project would include a total of 585 units in a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as studio units.

Unlike Richcraft’s previous plan, according to the documents prepared by Fotenn Planning + Design, “a significant portion” of the units in the latest proposal would be rental apartments.

The plan calls for a total of 552 parking spaces for vehicles, including 405 spaces for residents and 117 for visitors and all but 10 of them underground. There would also be 312 spots for bicycles.

All units on the ground floor of the buildings would be directly accessible from outside. The proposal includes more than 60,000 square feet of amenity space with nearly 40,000 square feet of communal areas featuring an indoor pool, cafe, gym and party room.

The proposal would require amendments to both zoning bylaws and the city’s official plan. The project’s height and density exceed current limits, while zoning bylaws now in place call for nearly 300 more parking spaces than Richcraft is proposing.

According to planning documents, Richcraft held a public consultation with the Centrepointe Community Association last November to discuss the plan, where residents expressed concerns about increased traffic and density and a lack of parking that could result in an overflow of cars on to nearby streets. 

However, the developer says the site’s proximity to a future light rail station will likely translate into fewer residents requiring parking spots and a reduced flow of vehicles from the property. 

“Given the transit-oriented nature of the development and its proximity to the Baseline Transit Station and the planned LRT extension, an effort should be made to encourage transit ridership within the development and a reduced parking rate would help achieve this,” the documents say. “An excess of bicycle parking is provided to offset some of the reduced private vehicle parking.”

This isn’t the first time Richcraft has proposed a major residential development for the Centrepointe Drive site.

In 2011, the developer filed plans for a two-highrise project featuring towers of 22 and 24 storeys. The proposal was later changed to three 15-storey condos, and council approved the project in early 2013 despite objections from some residents about the expected increase in vehicle traffic.

According to documents recently filed with the city, Richcraft planned to construct the towers over a period of five years, but the builder ultimately abandoned the project due to “changing market demand for condominium units.”