Home › Forums › Bulldog Forum: Ottawa, National And International Debate › Poor Little Ashcroft
This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by The Voter 6 months, 1 week ago.
December 8, 2017 at 1:38 PM #741109
Where’s Captain Renault when you need him? I am shocked — SHOCKED — to see a developer try to renege on a signed contract with the city.
If you don’t recall… Ashcroft Homes did a deal with the Soeurs de la Visitation for the property they owned on Richmond Road. They bought the property to develop condos. After they got approval, they realized their original plan wouldn’t leave that stretch of Richmond quite dark and windy enough, so they redesigned the condo development to make for more of a glass and concrete wall for that bottom-of-the-canyon effect. Shockingly enough, retail tenants can’t make a go of a space where potential customers feel like they’re in a Norwegian fjord in winter 10 months of the year and hightail it for more human-scaled shopping neighbourhoods to the east and west.
Ashcroft’s people must have been sniffing some nitrous when they signed the agreement, because they missed the part where they agreed to preserve the convent building and adapt it to community use. Once the hangover passed, they embarked on an aggressive program of neglect and whining, and now say it’s just imPOSSIBLE to do anything with the building.
But they have a solution! They’re going to refresh it! By knocking it down partly, then encasing the remainder in glass. You can imagine just how beautifully executed this will be when done by Ashcroft, who are noted for their architectural excellence by … welll… it’ll be nice, just trust them.
After all, Katherine Hobbs trusted them enough to let them host a party for her during the last election campaign. And that turned out well.December 8, 2017 at 1:42 PM #741111
I fought long and hard to try to save the convent and get the city on-board to turn it into something worthwhile.
I personally told Mayor Jim Watson about the situation about seven years ago and he said they’d had some problems with that developer in the past and that was it.
Now the building is falling down. No surprise there.
Like you couldn’t see this coming.
They ain’t building no more heritage so let’s see if Watson is prepared to do something to save an important part of our city’s heritage.
kgrayDecember 8, 2017 at 2:30 PM #741115
Bob LeDrewDecember 8, 2017 at 2:31 PM #741118December 8, 2017 at 6:10 PM #741120
MarreDecember 8, 2017 at 6:14 PM #741122December 8, 2017 at 6:16 PM #741119
I am bemused by the concept that Ashcroft thinks that we the people are responsible for Ashcroft’s financial viability. If Ashcroft’s arithmetic hasn’t worked out in its favour, well that is just too bad. Maybe next time. In the meantime, one can only hope that the councillors who are trying to look good prior to next year’s election will stand up and express the legitimate concerns of not just the community, but of all of the residents of Ottawa about a proposal to destroy, and let’s not mince words – tearing down a part of a heritage building is destruction. This city has precious few buildings that truly qualify as heritage, and the convent is one of those buildings.
Councillor Leiper, PLEASE, lead the charge.December 8, 2017 at 9:28 PM #741142
Were these conditions written into the contract of sale with the nuns and the planning approval from the city? Developers know quite well that, in Ottawa, you can agree to pretty near anything when you’re dealing with planning because you can come back in a few years and plunk down a sob story about your good intentions and how it’s just not feasible any more. Planning committee and council will hand you some tissues and comfort you on your misfortune and then roll back whatever the original approvals were to accommodate your “new” information.
The only surprising thing about this is that they waited this long to introduce the wrecking ball. Kinda makes me wonder if they had a ‘reasonable expectation’ that, had Councillor Hobbs been re-elected, the path would be made smooth for them at City Hall to bring these changes forward. Then they got Jeff Leiper who doesn’t work from the same edition of ‘The Councillor’s Handbook’ as Ms Hobbs which means Ashcroft has a problem. With the election coming up and a possibility of some changes around the Council table, they need to push this through while it’s still a developer’s world at the Lisgar bunker.