315-319 McRae Avenue – Westboro Connection Phase I, Ottawa, Ontario
Responding to need for purpose-built rental without expanding the urban boundary
The market showed that Ottawa faced a lack of purpose-built high rise rental. At the same time, the city could not support extending the urban boundary yet, the conventional wisdom held that purpose-built rental was uneconomic. Investors could see the case for commercial and retail space but needed convincing of the residential opportunity.
With construction of Ottawa’s light rapid transit (LRT) approved, we identified underutilized urban locations serviced by the significant investment in public transit, settling on a brownfield site in an established community with no competitive inventory. We presented a compelling business case to investors for an infill mixed-use brownfield development on the transit link, pursued the required re-zoning and secured key pre-leasing commercial tenants.
With Alterna Savings making the new property its headquarters, local technology company Pythian taking office space, Farm Boy filling a neighbourhood gap in retail grocery and residential leasing at 100 percent occupancy since construction, the property is a hub of community activity that has far exceeded investors’ expectations.