Developer Sam Mizrahi wins “landmark” decision at Ontario Municipal Board

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            12-storey condo project can proceed if upper floors achieve “landmark architecture” standards

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Developer Sam Mizrahi has decided he will seek to build a “landmark” 12-storey condo tower at Wellington and Island Park Dr., in part to comply with a mixed-message Ontario Municipal Board decision that gave him two choices: Keep the building to no larger than nine storeys, or design it so that it meets the standard of “landmark architecture.”

Of course, the next and obvious question is: What is “landmark architecture?”

“It’s very clear that this is a very prominent and very important corner and that you need an iconic building there,” the Toronto-based developer told the Ottawa Business Journal. “We work with all stakeholders in order to come up with something that’s great, and we will continue to do that.”

While the city’s development rules have set a nine-storey height restriction, Mizrahi believes the three additional storeys are needed because the site is contaminated, with remediation costs of $2 million.

Jeff Leiper, the city councillor whose ward is where the proposed condo would be located, says he believes the community will still oppose the project no matter its appearance.

In his interview with the business newspaper, Mizrahi said “landmark” buildings would include the Supreme Court, Parliament and the Shaw Centre. “It’s defined by creating emotion that is timeless,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s not trendy architecture – what’s in today and out tomorrow — it’s timeless architecture.”

Mizrahi aims to come up with this design approved within three months, with the goal of breaking ground on the project next spring. The OMB decision suggests that if he can convince the OMB that the building’s higher floors meet the “landmark” designation, then the project will be able to proceed, despite the city’s objections.

You can view and download a copy of the OMB decision at www.ottawaconstructionnews.com/wp-content/uploads/omb-decison-mizrahi.doc.

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