Federal government lends $86 million to Ottawa rental development



Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The federal government is lending a developer $86.4 million to help finance a 30-storey rental apartment building on Preston Street in Ottawa.

SoHo Italia, a project by Mastercraft Starwood at 500 Preston must ensure units are affordable, or below typical market rent, and energy efficient. The building will include 50 one-bedrooom units, 100 one-bedroom units with a den and 100 two-bedroom apartments.

At a press conference in August, Ahmed Hussen, minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced funds will be provided from the CMHC rental construction financing initiative.

“Current events remind us that nothing is more important than a home. Through the National Housing Strategy, more middle-class Canadians — and those working hard to join it — will find homes where their families can thrive and have the stability and opportunities they need to succeed,” Hussen said.

“Our government is committed to increasing the supply of rental units for Canadians through projects like the one we are announcing today.”

About 62 per cent of which was built before 1979 in Ottawa.

Mastercraft president Bruce Greenberg called the building “state-of-the-art” and will feature electric vehicle charging stations, car sharing and electronic locks.

Project details:

The 30-storey mixed-use building will feature 250 residential units, including 50 one-bedroom units, 100 one-bedroom + den units and 100 two-bedroom units.

Soho Italia will have barrier free access and at least two units will be adaptable, in addition to the minimum of 10 % of units within the project (25 units) that will meet or exceed the local accessibility standards.

The project is designed to achieve a total of 15.7 per cent energy savings and 25.6 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction compared to the 2015 model building codes.

Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

“It is difficult to get financing for multi-unit rental properties but these CMHC loans are repayable and give builders the confidence and means to move ahead with rental housing that will fuel our economy when it is needed most and give more Canadians a place to call home,” Greenburg said.

Construction is expected to be completed near the end of 2022.



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