Ottawa Real Estate Show: First Zibi residents to start moving in this fall

Editor's Note

The Ottawa Real Estate Show is a new online broadcast dedicated to commercial property in Canada’s capital. Watch the show at The Ottawa Real Estate Show is sponsored by Mann Lawyers and CBRE Ottawa.

With three massive mixed-use real estate projects poised to transform the western edge of downtown Ottawa – and compete for residents and business tenants – the lead developer behind Zibi says his firm has secured its first commercial space users.

Jeff Westeinde concedes he’s happy that Zibi, which is transforming some 37 acres of former industrial land on the Ottawa River into a new community, was “first out of the gate” and is several years ahead of the neighbouring LeBreton Flats redevelopment and planned trio of skyscrapers at Bayview Station.

However, he argues that the three projects will collectively help attract new skilled workers and companies to the region.

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“The west side of downtown is going to redefine our city,” Westeinde said on the Ottawa Real Estate Show. “It’s an exciting time to be in this part of the world.”

Westeinde says he has signed “a couple” of tenants for the commercial component of the project, which has generated “a lot of interest” from companies that are currently located downtown as well as outside the Greenbelt. On the residential side, the first homeowners will move into units on the Quebec side of the project in September, Westeinde added.

By contrast, the Ottawa Senators-backed RendezVous LeBreton – which is looking to construct an NHL arena, condos and shops on LeBreton Flats – is still in negotiations with the National Capital Commission. Slightly to the west, Trinity Development Group spent the winter rerouting underground water pipes to enable to construction of three towers of between 50 and 59 storeys.

While Ottawa Senators owner and CEO Eugene Melnyk recently appeared to question whether the local residential market could support all the new condos and townhomes planned for central Ottawa, some real estate experts say there is sufficient demand for the commercial components.

“Both on (the) tech front and on (the) government front, we’re seeing growth,” said Shawn Hamilton, managing director of real estate services firm CBRE, a sponsor of the Ottawa Real Estate Show.

“There will be enough demand … (and these projects) are well-positioned to take advantage of that growth.”

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