SmartCentres REIT (SRU-UN-T) and Selection Group plan to join the multi-residential building boom in Ottawa by constructing a two-tower development on the site of a shopping centre in the city’s west end.
The partners will own the $150-million project on a 50/50 basis. The proposal calls for a 13-storey apartment building with 180 units and a 14-storey independent supportive living tower with 230 units at the Laurentian Place shopping centre at the busy intersection of Baseline Road and Clyde Avenue.
The two buildings will rise above a two-level podium containing shared common facilities as well as independent retail shops and services. Three levels of underground parking will also be constructed.
In a release announcing the projects, the partners call the development “consistent with the desirable trend of blending residential and commercial spaces.”
Subject to normal municipal approvals, construction is expected to begin in spring 2020.
“This announcement is consistent with our overall strategic plan to maximize the value of our major-market urban centres by introducing mixed-use developments,” said Peter Forde, president and chief executive officer of SmartCentres, in the release.
“Projects such as SmartCentres Place in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, StudioCentre, and Westside Mall, all in the Greater Toronto Area, along with this Ottawa project, are just a few examples of our extensive pipeline of mixed-use projects . . .”
Major Ottawa retail corridor
The property is located along one of the key east-west arteries in Ottawa’s west end. The site is already home to a Walmart-anchored retail centre, a five-storey mixed-use office and retail building, and two other smaller strip-style retail buildings.
The apartment buildings will be constructed at the southwest corner of the site, right at the intersection. The site offers easy access to transit as well as being just a short walk from one of the largest greenspaces in Ottawa, the Central Experimental Farm with its network of trails, parkland and access to the Rideau Canal corridor.
It is also part of Ottawa’s Merivale Road corridor, a heavily developed retail and commercial corridor allowing access to extensive shopping, food and entertainment options.
The project will be the first in Ontario for Selection Group, formerly known as Reseau Selection. The Laval-based developer has 30 years of experience in the Montreal and Quebec markets with a focus on retirement and multi-generational communities.
“We are very pleased to enter into this new partner relationship with SmartCentres,” said Réal Bouclin, president and chief executive officer of Selection Group, in the release. “This is the first step of our expansion in Ontario and the rest of Canada which is part of our strategic planning and marks a milestone in our unrelenting growth.
“We look forward to working with SmartCentres, a well-known success story in the industry.”
Ottawa’s expanding population and strong economy has led to a number of major developments in recent years, with companies such as Claridge (the Icon and Moon condo towers), Dream and Theia Partners (the Zibi mixed-use site in Ottawa and Gatineau), Regional Group (Greystone) and RioCan/Killam (the Frontier apartment towers), planning and building for the residential sector.
SmartCentres is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts with total assets of approximately $9.6 billion. It owns and manages 34 million square feet of retail space in value-oriented, principally Walmart-anchored retail centres. In addition, SmartCentres is a joint-venture partner in the Premium Outlets locations in Toronto and Montreal with Simon Property Group.
SmartCentres continues to expand its portfolio to include residential (single-family, condominium and rental), retirement homes, office, and self-storage, either on its large urban properties such as SmartCentres Place at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre or as an adjunct to its existing shopping centres.
About Selection Group
Selection Group is a prominent real estate group in Canada, becoming recognized as a market leader in the retirement complex industry.
Selection Group continues to innovate, with its avant-garde approach to intergenerational living and its unique, vertically integrated structure. These assets are the key pillars that facilitate the company’s geographic and product diversification, which are tailored for youth, families and retirees.
Today, Selection Group boasts more than 50 housing complexes in operation, construction and development, in Canada and the United States, and the value of its assets surpasses $4 billion. Selection Group employs more than 5,000 people and services more than 15,000 clients.