An Ottawa real estate firm is planning to build a pair of 14-storey residential towers at the site of a well-known meeting facility near the airport as it continues to expand its office, industrial and residential holdings in the city’s south end.
Jennings Real Estate Corp. has filed an application to construct a development with about 350 residential units and underground parking for about 340 vehicles at 3750 N. Bowesville Rd.
The 1.66-acre property is located just off Riverside Drive, a stone’s throw from the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. It is currently home to the Mosaic Convention Centre, a building better known as Tudor Hall that has hosted meetings since the mid-1970s and was acquired by Jennings last year.
Current zoning rules already permit multi-residential buildings of up to 14 storeys at the site, and the developer is now working with the city to shepherd the project through the municipal planning process.
Jennings president Christian Jennings said the company still isn’t sure if the units will be rentals or condos. Noting that rising interest rates have driven up financing costs for real estate projects, he said it will likely be a “number of years” before shovels are in the ground.
“It’s a hard one to nail down,” Jennings said. “Whether it’s rentals or condos, I think we’ll make our decision a little bit closer to the time when we’re ready to start building. We’re still at the very front end (of the process).”
The Tudor Hall property is just one of several sites in the company’s rapidly growing south-end portfolio.
Jennings recently acquired a pair of two-storey, 30,000-square-foot office buildings in a business park on Auriga Drive, just west of the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Riverside Drive, from Montreal-based PRO Real Estate Investment Trust.
Both properties boast well-established, long-term tenants, with engineering firm Paterson Group occupying 9 Auriga Dr. and Costco Wholesale the sole occupant of 31 Auriga Dr. The acquisition, which closed in late August, brings Jennings’ total holdings in the airport district to nearly 200,000 square feet.
“We like the area,” Jennings said. “It’s good access to downtown as well as the highways and major arteries of the city.”
Meanwhile, the company is also spearheading construction of a 50,000-square-foot building on the grounds of the Ottawa International Airport that will serve as the new headquarters for Canadian North airline. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.
While conceding that escalating financing and construction costs have “changed the dynamic” of real estate development over the past couple of years, Jennings said he remains optimistic about the firm’s long-term prospects.
“It hasn’t slowed down how we’re continuing to look for opportunities,” Jennings said. “We’re actively looking for more deals and more projects and think there are deals out there right now.”