Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SoHo Italia ... tallest building in Ottawa on Preston Street?

Get your vote in.  Go to the following link and express your thoughts, should Ottawa's tallest building be on Preston Street or is the spot too small for vertical development?

Condo developer wants 35-storey tower on Preston

A condominium developer is seeking to construct a 35-storey tower in the heart of Ottawa's Little Italy that, if completed, would be the tallest building in the city.

An artist's concept of the Soho Italia, a 35-storey condominium tower. (Roderick Lahey Architect Inc.)Mastercraft Starwood Group wants to build "Soho Italia" just behind the archway of Little Italy on the site of an old parking lot on Preston Street.

Last week, developers pitched the idea to mayor Jim Watson and the ward's city councillor, Diane Holmes, as well as Peter Hume, the chair of the Planning and Environment Committee. An official zoning change request has not been filed yet.

An artist's conception for the project from architect Roderick Lahey shows a slim glass and concrete tower that resembles a stack of plates. The design also includes a ground floor dedicated to a museum of Italian culture.

Lahey said he's excited about the project, and describes it as a fluid design that's supposed to look like water moving, inspired by the Aqua Tower in Chicago. The Ottawa building would house about 220 residential condo units.

If completed, it would likely edge out tower C of Place de Ville, the 29-storey, 112 metre building, and the 32-storey, 108 metre-tall Minto Metropole in Westboro, as the tallest building in Ottawa.

Developers have battled over this land in the past and won concessions from the city.

The spot is currently zoned for 19-storeys for a commercial building and 22-storeys for a residential building, according to a spokesperson with Mastercraft Starwood. The company has also met with the local business improvement association and is expecting to meet with community groups to discuss the plan.

Local residents, businesses and politicians CBC spoke with expressed surprise at the sheer size of the planned building, with some questioning its height while others worry that it is too wide for the available lot.

For Ottawa real estate be sure to contact Bennett Property Shop Realty Brokerage

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2011/01/17/ottawa-preston-tallest-building.html#socialcomments


  1. I think it would be great to be honest. I've lived in Condos in Vancouver and they bring a real sexy look to an area. Did you guys see that they launched an official website for it ? http://sohoitaliablog.com

  2. I saw the site, it is pretty interesting. The museum is a nice idea and the style of the building is very unique. At this time of the year, think about skating around the corner from Queen Elizabeth Drive, towards the Dow's Lake Pavillion and seeing that beautiful sillouette in the distance, it would be picturesque.

  3. It's a really hard call to make. Granted, I don't like on Preston (or in Little Italy, for that matter), but I think bold architectural feats could pull Ottawa out of its mundane, bureaucratic reputation. At the same time, this building could also just look tasteless against the quaintness of Preston.

  4. It is funny, I have been in Montreal and Toronto over the past two weekends and I can say that adding height to our skyline would be a welcome addition

  5. It looks like a beautiful building, but one this large, in this area, will have negative effects to surrounding real estate. Adjacent lots will not will be developable, as the building will extend all the way to the lot lines. Not to mention that the building will block the sightlines of a large portion of the surrounding community, not to mention their own development on Champagne.

  6. Interesting! What will happen to their development on Champagne? Domicile is also developing condos/town homes directly across the street.

  7. SoHo Italia will have no effect on SoHo Champagne, which is due to launch in May 2011. SoHo Italia is likely schedule for 2012 launch, likely late in the year is my guess.

    I think that SoHo Italia will actually add to the site lines in Little Italy. It will give an amazing view point from Dow's Lake and Queen Elizabeth Dr.

    I actually also think different on property values, I think this building will increase property values in the area, as adding a museum and new high end luxury condos is not a negative to the neighbourhood.

    Slated currently, to the best of my knowledge, there are around 700 condos planned for the Little Italy neighbourhood in the coming two to three years.

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