Can you imagine a Hazeldean Road development with more parkland than parking?
Believe it. On Monday night Kevin Pidgeon (pictured above) and Christine Forget from the Nautical Lands Group (NLG) gave the Fairwinds Community Association a preview of their Wellings of Stittsville project. It’s an ambitious mixed-use development proposed for Hazeldean Road just west of Huntmar including:
- a 5-storey, 185-unit apartment building targeted at older adults
- a 4-storey, 256-unit long-term care Extendicare facility
- a mixed-use retail/office building along Hazeldean road
- a large park on the north end of the site, along Poole Creek
Four of the 11 acres of land will be deeded back to the City for a large park along Poole Creek. Most of the parking will be underground. Pigeon said studies have shown that pavement creates industrial stress on older people. (I’d argue that’s true for everyone, old and young!)
“We don’t want it to look like a power centre parking lot,” he said.
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Pidgeon says the project is fully financed and shovel-ready, it’s just waiting for final approvals from the City of Ottawa. They’d like to build all of the components at once, but the Extendicare portion may be delayed. It includes long-term beds that need a green light from the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Pidgeon also says that this will be an LID project – light impact development – minimizing the impact to the surrounding environment. LID projects usually include special engineering to minimize stormwater runoff.
NLG has been involved in a number of large senior-oriented developments like this one elsewhere in Ontario, but this is the first project of its type for them in Ottawa. Their head office is on Carp Road in an old stone house north of the Queensway.
This isn’t a perfect development proposal, but it’s really encouraging to see a large-scale Stittsville project that puts people first, rather than cars and parking lots.