Windmill plans new group home and residential towers near former Lincoln Fields Mall site

A major Ottawa company known for its environmentally friendly housing projects wants to build a new group home for adults with physical disabilities as well as two apartment towers containing hundreds of residential units near the old Lincoln Fields Mall site.

Windmill Development Group recently applied to construct three buildings with a total of 510 residential apartments at 2475 Regina Street, near the northwest corner of Richmond Road and Sir John A. Macdonald Drive.

The one-hectare property currently houses Parkway House, a 12-unit residence for adults with physical disabilities. Windmill plans to demolish the current building, which has occupied the site for more than four decades, and replace it with a new seven-storey building which will include a new home for Parkway House on the ground floor and six floors of residential units above .

According to the application, the aging group home has become “unprofitable to maintain” due to increasing operating deficits and needs to be replaced.

Parkway House has signed a redevelopment agreement with Windmill that will see the Ottawa firm build a new facility and establish an annuity that will cover the group home’s current deficit until the new building is built. Another annuity will be established once the new facility is operational to ensure its continued operation.

Pair of skyscrapers

The proposal also includes plans for two 19- and 25-story skyscrapers that would contain a mix of studio apartments as well as one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites.

Windmill says it is “currently working on site feasibility to understand the proposed mix of residential rental units versus condominium units.” A planning application recently filed with the city says the 19-story tower will likely house rental apartments, while the 25-story tower would contain “market value” condominium units.

The developer says he hopes to take advantage of financing programs offered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and groups such as Toronto’s Trillium Housing in an effort to provide affordable rental housing and condominium units.

“In addition to a new home for the Parkway House facility, the site will include new housing, designed and built to be one of the most sustainable new development projects in Ottawa,” says the application prepared by the consultant in GBA Group planning.

Windmill says he intends to pursue a One Planet Living designation for development – a “framework guiding a comprehensive and comprehensive plan that will tackle climate change, build resilient communities and regenerate the living systems around us” .

The builder says only two other two other residential communities in Canada currently meet One Planet Living standards, including the Zibi project on the Ottawa River waterfront that Windmill also helped develop.

Windmill’s plan also provides for two levels of underground parking with 241 parking spaces for residents and visitors to rental and condominium units as well as a sheltered surface lot above ground with 12 parking spaces for Parkway House.

Although this equates to less than one vehicle parking space for every two residential units, Windmill plans to provide stacked bicycle parking for all 510 suites.

The developer also offers nearly 3,400 square feet of outdoor common space on the third floor of the Parkway House structure as well as a combined 6,200 square feet of outdoor patio space in the other two buildings.

The proposal would require zoning changes as it exceeds the current height limits of the property.