CLV takes lead on three-tower plan for Corso Italia LRT site, proposes mix of condos, rentals

Gladstone renderings
Gladstone renderings

One of the city’s most prominent residential landlords has taken over the lead role in developing a prime plot of real estate near the Trillium LRT line, proposing a mix of condos and rental units in a three-tower project that would incorporate a prominent Hintonburg heritage site.

In updated documents recently filed with the city, CLV Group Developments says its plan for the property at 951 Gladstone Ave. and 145 Loretta Ave. N. includes about 850 residential suites, 177,000 square feet of office space and 17,000 square feet of retail space. 

If the project wins council’s approval, the builders hope to begin construction in 2023.

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The site is currently occupied by a retail strip mall, one-storey commercial and light-industrial buildings and the Standard Bread Building, which was built in 1924 that is now home to the Enriched Bread Artists collective. 

The former bread factory was designated a heritage building last year and will be renovated and retained as studio space for artists under the proposal.

“This is a really important development for us,” CLV president Oz Drewniak told OBJ late last week. “It’s development that the city and community needs and are looking for. We’re very excited about it.”

Taller towers originally proposed

Originally spearheaded by Trinity Development Group in partnership with CLV and PBC Real Estate Advisors, the proposal was unveiled in late 2018 and called for three highrises of 41, 35 and 30 storeys next to the future Corso Italia LRT station, currently under construction.

In 2019, the proposed buildings were downsized to 35, 33 and 30 storeys. The project was then slated to include 745 residential units. 

CLV purchased Trinity’s share of the project last year and is now the lead developer of the site. Drewniak said last week the firm is partnering with a “silent investor” that did not want to be publicly identified.

While the company is best-known for developing and managing rental properties, Drewniak says the firm is proposing a mix of rental and condo units for the three-tower Gladstone project. The firm has been involved in a few condo projects in the past, but Drewniak said the Hintonburg development, if approved, will likely be its biggest foray into the segment in Ottawa to date.

Drewniak said the ratio of rentals to condos will depend on market demand.

“It’s still pretty early. The design is still evolving.”

“It’s still pretty early,” he told OBJ, adding the units will likely include a range of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. “The design is still evolving.”

The builder plans to restore the Standard Bread Building to as close to its original appearance as possible while completely remodelling the interior to modern standards. Once that work is done, CLV plans to rent the space back to artists at below-market rates.

“We feel that retaining that (as an artists’ space) and supporting that is going to make for a much better overall community,” Drewniak explained.

The Standard Bread Building would be connected to the 35-storey highrise, which would be anchored by a five-storey podium. The two tallest towers would feature ground-level retail and amenity space, with office space occupying the next four floors.

Drewniak said the retail component would likely include a locally owned cafe, adding the developers are still determining what type of office tenants they hope to target.

Underground parking

“With COVID, things are changing quickly,” he said. “It’s going to be more of a community office where people from around the neighbourhood will come.”

The plan also calls for rooftop and community amenity space as well as a pair of public parks and a multi-use pathway along the west side of the Trillium Line corridor. A two-storey underground parking garage would have space for 534 vehicles, with 14 surface parking spots proposed in the central courtyard.

The developers are seeking zoning amendments to allow for increased height limits and reduced setbacks. CLV is hoping to break ground on the project in the next 18 months, with the heritage restoration work to begin as soon as possible pending planning approvals. The two tallest towers would be built first, followed by the third tower in a later phase.

Although LRT ridership has plummeted during the pandemic, Drewniak said he’s confident that transit-oriented development will be an attractive investment in the post-COVID era.

“At the end of the day, LRT and mass transit is the way of the future,” he said. “There is light at the end of the tunnel, and when that happens, people will want to get back to a … normal life.”

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