Council green-lights plan for 27-storey tower at Metcalfe Street Medical Arts Building site

180 Metcalfe St. plan
180 Metcalfe St. plan

A long-delayed plan to construct a residential highrise at the site of an Art Deco-style heritage building on Metcalfe Street got the go-ahead from city council on Wednesday.

Jadco Group wants 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, and incorporate the remaining facades into a new 27-storey tower with 307 residential units, 188 underground parking spaces and an enclosed rooftop amenity area.

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. The building’s interior does not have heritage protection.

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Wednesday’s decision marks the culmination of a process that’s stretched on for more than six years.

The project originally went before council in the summer of 2015. At the time, the plan from developer Toth Equity 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.

Hotel idea scrapped

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. That plan never came to fruition.

In 2018, a new proponent, Jadco Group, presented a fresh proposal calling 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.

Last June, Jadco submitted a revised proposal for a 30-storey tower with 311 residential suites. 

After receiving complaints about the height increase, the developer scaled back the plan.

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