Q&A about the proposed 2200 Bank St development
South Keys Centre is one step closer to getting taller! In October 2023, SmartCentres, the owner of the mall, submitted their revised application to build a new apartment tower next to South Keys Station.
At a glance, the proposal includes one L-shaped apartment tower with a two-storey parking structure in the back, containing 290 dwelling units, 180 car parking spaces, 300 bicycle parking spaces, and two retail spaces. The dwelling units range from studio to 3-bedroom, and all will be rentals.
Crucially, the application includes SmartCentres transferring land to the City to build the South Keys Transit Plaza, the first park at South Keys Centre, which BSKC has been very active with. The two retail spaces will face the transit station and plaza, creating an opportunity for a very European-style plaza with outdoor seating and dining.
Though the development proposal was first submitted to the City back in 2021, it has been delayed and revised over the last two years to reduce the size and cost to SmartCentres, reflecting more challenging market conditions. Overall, BSKC is very happy that the application continues to progress and will deliver much-needed housing and a valuable new public space to the community.
BSKC reached out to the developer with the help of Councillor Bradley’s office with some questions about the development. The answers are provided below.
The tower floorplates (representing the overall area of the floor) are approximately 890m2. What rationale is there for having floorplates that are larger than 750m2?
The latest submission includes a single tower with a maximum floorplate of approximately 947m2. The requested rezoning is to permit a maximum tower floorplate of 950m2. Part of the rationale is that the potential for development in this area to achieve the transit-oriented densities envisioned by the Official Plan through appropriate high-rise building forms is challenged by the strict limitations on building height resulting from Airport Authority height restrictions. With building height limited to 21 storeys, design efficiencies, such as a larger tower floorplate, are necessary to achieve a feasible density to support redevelopment.
The Community Design Plan envisions a “squaring off” of Daze Street to create a more grid-like street pattern through the site. Was this considered in the site design, and is the site design project for this to be done later?
The Phase 1 development does not preclude the squaring off of Daze Street.
Will the secure bike parking rooms include charging infrastructure for e-bikes?
The TDM (Transportation Demand Management) checklist notes that a bike share station is “under consideration”. At this time the matter remains under consideration by the owner.
About 5,000 square feet is shown for ground floor commercial, split between just two units in Phase 1. What types of tenants are envisioned? Was consideration given to providing smaller units to support a greater diversity of businesses?
The commercial space is designed to provide maximum flexibility to appeal to a broad range of potential tenants, uses and sizes. The overall area for commercial will generally remain unchanged, however, the unit count and size will be altered as required to meet market demand.
Was consideration given to providing office space for small businesses within the podium?
The owner intends to provide maximum flexibility for the non-residential space, and for market demand to determine their ultimate use.
How does the TIA (Transportation Impact Assessment) consider the significant potential for sustained telecommuting in the projected modal splits?
Consistent with the City of Ottawa’s current trip generation methodology, standardized trip rates and mode share targets for transit-oriented development zones developed before the COVID-19 pandemic were assumed for this TIA. Given that the site-generated traffic volume projections do not explicitly consider the impacts of remote/hybrid work, these results can be considered conservative.
Phase 3 proposes the removal of the movie theatre. Will consideration be given to attracting a similar tenant in the tower design to ensure this source of community recreation is not lost?
The Phase 3 design is conceptual in nature, and only the Phase 1 development is proceeding at this time.
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