Seeing an opportunity within the transitioning West Ottawa neighbourhood of Westboro, in 2016 Colonnade BridgePort acquired two underutilized, environmentally compromised parcels on the corner of McRae Avenue and Scott Street with the intent to develop a true mixed-use asset within the urban boundary.
Colonnade BridgePort was seeking an opportunity to put the often-referenced pillars of “Live, Work, Play” development into practice with the added component of unparalleled Light Rail Transit (LRT) access. Although this vision was supported by the City of Ottawa’s transit and associated intensification policies, several challenges were overcome to bring this landmark development to fruition.
Given the Brownfields status of the site, a remedial action plan was developed and implemented with some of the province’s leading environmental consultants to address the soils and groundwater contamination.
This phased process allowed for approved records of site condition for each stage of future mixed-use development.
The site underwent extensive entitlement processes including an official plan amendment, zoning by-law amendment, and site plan control process, that were managed by a combined team of Colonnade BridgePort staff and external planning firms. Parallel to the entitlement process, a rigorous value-engineering process was implemented to ensure the integration of all land uses and design elements were considered prior to construction.
Intensive consultation was required during the entitlement process as well as throughout the development lifecycle with City officials, City staff, public stakeholders, community groups and surrounding neighbours. These well- established relationships allowed us to create and foster open dialogue and transparency to mitigate external risk to ourselves and owners. These valuable links continue to be maintained for the development of phase 2 and leveraged for future opportunities.
To mitigate potential concerns from tenants and residents, a thoughtful approach to construction management and clear communications supported a successful staged occupancy
of commercial, retail and residential tenants. Specific effort was placed on ensuring retail deliveries and operations were not disrupted by on-going construction in this desirable area.
This redevelopment from a former brownfields site is now home to Class A, LEED SILVER commercial office space and well-known retail and service entities such as Farm Boy Grocer, Kids & Company, Bridgehead Coffee, and Alterna Bank.
Collectively, the office and retail spaces, as well as the residential units, consistently maintain stable occupancy levels which can be attributed to the innovative and effective leasing programs in place for these tenants.
Colonnade BridgePort’s forward thinking has allowed connectivity between Phase I and II with such elements as a structurally linked P1 garage level and combined security monitoring systems. Significant market considerations were addressed throughout the design and construction of this development to ensure the elements of success for all components such as residential unit mixes, retail sales and operations and office work place levels were constantly being validated.
Westboro Connection is a true mixed-use destination in a thriving neighbourhood. Its 434,207 sq.ft. includes 114,011 sq.ft. of commercial space, 44,936 sq.ft. of retail space, and 275,260 sq.ft. of high-rise residential.