Planning has stepped up concerning a mammoth project in the southwest part of Ottawa worth hundreds of millions of dollars, industry sources say.
A consortium of at least three parties is proposing to construct a densely built small city that would stretch from the Manotick area, through Rideau and Goulbourn and up near West Carleton and Kanata. It could encompass at least 4,000 acres and would have a town centre. If approved, it would be one of the largest developments in Ottawa history.
The project keys around whether the city could drive western light rail to the development. That would have to happen within about a decade for the plan to be successful. Sources say principals behind the project are prepared to pay as much as the city portion of the cost extending light rail beyond Baseline station to the project if the federal and provincial government would come up with one-third each of the remaining expenses.
The development comes as the city reconsiders the municipality’s official plan and its controversial urban boundary that limits city development from stretching into the countryside. The plan needs to be ready in time for the creation of the new OP. The development would likely create an enormous debate about extending the urban boundary and intensification. Principals behind the project are prepared to build a dense development peppered with high-rises and townhouses.
The plan is so secret that not even the office of Mayor Jim Watson knows more than scant details about the project.
The project has been the talk of rural areas southwest of the city as empty land has been purchased by the consortium.
In 2011, a firm called Walton International said it was purchasing land south of Highway 417 and west of Highway 416. It said: “Walton has assembled a significant land position in Southwest Ottawa and is developing planning concepts for the area to reflect the highest and best use potential of the land.”
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