Developer plans nine-story project in Ottawa’s Westboro neighbourhood, incorporating heritage service station

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Trinity Development Group has proposed a nine-storey mixed-use building in Ottawa’s Westboro neighbourhood at a heritage site incorporating a 1930s-era gas station.

The developer says in filings with the City of Ottawa that it proposes to include the “cottage style” gas station at Richmond Road and Island Park Drive in the new development – but it will move it within the site once it receives permission.

The original Champlain Oil station, constructed in 1934, received the city’s heritage protection  in 2015. Trinity had considered options that included demolishing the old structure – but that would require the city to repeal its heritage designation.

In a development application filed Nov. 24, Trinity says it plans to relocate the gas station from the back of the property to the front.

The proposed development includes a 4,000 sq. ft. ground floor retail component and the station’s facade would be part of that section of the development.

The overall 64,000 sq. ft. redevelopment would also include 60 residential suites, although the developer hasn’t decided yet whether these studio, one and two-bedroom units would be rentals or condos.

Trinity wants to build at least nine stories, though zoning rules on the site currently allow for just six storeys.

Aly Premji, Trinity’s vice-president of development and planning, told the Ottawa Business Journal (OBJ) that the taller structure is necessary because of costs involved in moving the heritage building and decontaminating its land.

“With a site this small, to make it work, we thought nine storeys is justifiable,” Prenji was quoted as saying. “I think nine storeys is a good (height) for this neighbourhood. We wouldn’t do something that doesn’t have good planning rationale.”

Ottawa’s Hobin Architecture has designed the building.  Trinity hopes the application will be ready to be reviewed by the city’s planning committee in February.

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