Katasa plans pair of residential highrise towers on St. Laurent Boulevard

Katasa St. Laurent Boulevard development
Gatineau-based Katasa Group is proposing to build two residential highrises on St. Laurent Boulevard near Belfast Road.

A developer that recently filed plans to replace a Centretown medical building with an apartment complex wants to construct two highrises on St. Laurent Boulevard that would contain a total of more than 400 residential units.

Gatineau-based Katasa Group has submitted an application to build two towers of 25 and 20 storeys at 1531 St. Laurent Blvd. near the corner of Belfast Road. A vacant one-storey commercial building that was formerly a restaurant occupies part of the site, with a surface parking lot covering the rest.

In a planning document included with the application, the developer says the proposal “is designed to set the benchmark for the transition of this component of St. Laurent Boulevard into a walkable, transit-supportive corridor.”

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Katasa officials did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

The current height limit for the property is nine storeys. Katasa has applied to the city for a zoning bylaw amendment.

The taller of the two proposed highrises is expected to include 235 residential units and almost 5,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. 

The second building will feature 189 residential suites for a combined 424 units, nearly half of which are projected to be one-bedroom apartments. The plan calls for about 36 per cent of the units to have two bedrooms, with the remainder of the apartments split between studio and three-bedroom units.

Fewer parking spots than required

The developer is also asking the city for a bylaw amendment to permit fewer parking spaces than allowed under current zoning rules.

Regulations now call for at least 526 parking spots for vehicles at the site, including 424 spaces for residents, 85 for visitors and 17 for retail customers. Katasa is proposing a four-level underground garage with 321 spaces for residents and 30 spots for visitors as well as 11 ground-level retail parking spaces. 

Meanwhile, the builder plans to create 394 parking spots for bicycles – nearly double the required 212 spaces.

“The proposed development is located in an area that is well-served by public transit, and along a transit priority corridor with a bus stop in front of the subject property on St. Laurent Boulevard,” the application says.

Noting that the St. Laurent LRT station is about two kilometres away and a rapid bus transit station is slated to be built about 275 metres from the property, Katasa says the project aims to “encourage transit use while still accommodating vehicles onsite for essential vehicle trips.”

Other elements of the proposal include a public park on the north side of the property fronting on to Belfast Road and almost 35,000 square feet of amenity space, including an outdoor terrace.

It’s the second major development project Katasa has proposed in the past couple of months.

The company recently filed an application to build a mixed-use complex at 381 Kent St. between Gilmour and James streets. The plan would see the five-storey medical building that now occupies the property demolished and replaced with a nine-storey building that includes 218 residential units and more than 1,800 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

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