Planning committee strikes $6.25M affordable housing deal with developer Trinity

Trinity Development Group has struck a deal to pay $6.25 million towards the city’s affordable housing fund, but there’s no guarantee any such units will end up in the firm’s proposed three-tower development next to Bayview Station.

Ottawa’s planning committee approved the agreement with Trinity on Thursday, but council still needs to sign off on the deal at its next meeting on Oct. 23.

Trinity
The proposed three-highrise development at 900 Albert St.

Trinity’s contributions are related to its proposed mixed-use development at 900 Albert St., a stone’s throw from Bayview Station where the two O-Train lines now meet. Trinity and partners InterRent REIT and PBC Real Estate Advisors received initial approval in July 2018 for the ambitious development, which would see three towers of 65, 56 and 27 storeys rise above the 3.6-acre parcel of land.

Though Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney said previously she’d like to see 25 per cent of the 1,200-unit development set aside for affordable housing, Thursday’s deal does not require a minimum number of units in the 900 Albert project itself to be below market rates. While the Bayview secondary plan includes language for affordable housing provisions such as Trinity’s funding agreement as conditions for development approval, council doesn’t currently have the power to require a specific project to hit a certain minimum target of affordable units.

McKenney did secure an agreement Thursday to ensure the $1.25-million sale price of adjacent lands to the Trinity development would also go towards the city’s affordable housing coffers. Trinity’s $6.25-million contribution is in addition to $975,000 the developer has already pledged to affordable housing and greening projects in Somerset Ward.

Meanwhile, Trinity and co. have been going back and forth with the city’s urban design review panel on final plans for their monumental project and recently resubmitted updated designs to city staff for comments. The developer will file its final plans for committee and council approval in the near future, according to a staff report.