New Towers to Replace Old Abandoned Building on Booth Street
An abandoned laboratory complex in central Ottawa would now be handed over to private developers to build a couple of new towers reports obj.ca. The property would be rezoned, and allowed to house towers rising 24 storeys tall. The campus measures 6.5 acres and is located at Booth street. Some parts of the buildings, have been vacant for almost 20 years.
For the new plan, a public garden would replace large areas of the parking lot. The developers would however preserve and refurbish abunch of the existing heritage buildings – as well as the property’s landmark smokestack.
“I think the inspiration we’re going for here is an opportunity to tell a heritage story of the site but also telling a future story, which is 21st century urban living,” said Craig Sklenar, a senior urban designer with Stantec Urban Places, the firm hired to help develop the concept, speaking to the Ottawa Citizen in Febuary on the issue. “That lifestyle is connected, it’s activated on the ground plane, it provides those who live and work in the area with all the amenities that they would need at their doorstep. This design allows for those types of services to be within a contained block or nearby.”
“We want to ensure that we’re pushing new building design in such a way that it lets the heritage buildings be in the foreground instead of the background,” he said
“I see people on this site 24 hours a day,” says Marie Jarvis, the real estate director for the National Capital Region at the Canada Lands Co., which owns the site, quoted on obj.ca. Once fully redeveloped, Jarvis says she envisions a range of uses: “People living there, working there, coming for dinner (and) coming for breakfast.”
The CLC, after several months of public consultations had filed a rezoning request earlier this year, with the city to allow for the taller buildings, in addition to removing setback requirements.
Jarvis asserts that she hopes the rezoning would be effective by spring 2019. Once the rezoning takes effect, Jarvis says CLC will commission an extensive environmental remediation of the property, as it has been polluted from years of industrial use. The cost of the cleaning, she says, has not yet been determined.
Once remediated, the property will be sold off in parcels to private developers, likely between 2020 and 2022, Jarvis says. “(We want it to) be a catalyst and make a positive contribution to the redevelopment of the Glebe Annex and Preston East corridor,” she says.
The area is fast becoming one of Ottawa’s hottest neighbourhoods. According to the report, “Homebuilder Claridge is constructing a 45-storey condo tower at the corner of Preston Street and Carling Avenue, and a new luxury rental tower is being built on Rochester Street. Additionally, the Booth Street complex is less than 500 metres from the Carling O-Train station on the Trillium Line, which the city is preparing to expand in the coming years.”
The neighbourhood is expected to gain even further value after private developers eventually purchase the property and construct the new buildings.