Sustainable Development? Smart Living Proposes Lowertown Residential Complex With Minimal Car Parking

Have you heard of Smart Living Properties’ new development proposal for Lowertown? The developer is proposing to construct a residential complex consisting of more than 400 units (including about 28,000 square feet of amenity space, and a 4,500-square-foot rooftop patio) on a property currently occupied by a warehouse and a commercial building. The development would include more than 10 times the number of parking spaces for bicycles than for cars.

The recently-filed planning documents include the demolition of a two-story warehouse and a single-story commercial building located at 112 Nelson Street and 134 Nelson Street, respectively. Smart Living plans to replace these buildings with a nine-story, L-shaped structure covering 150,000 square feet of the 0.9-acre property. The new building would have six stories at one end and nine at the other.

The plans for the building include a total of 421 residential units in different sizes, including studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. They’re planning on having one level of underground parking, with space for 40 cars and 482 bicycles. Of the 40 vehicle parking spaces, 18 would be for residents, 17 for visitors, and five for car-sharing services.

So, what would this development involve? Firstly, 134 Nelson Street would have to be rezoned from industrial to residential use. They would need amendments to the zoning regulations to allow for fewer parking spaces for residents and reduced rear yard setbacks.

Smart Living believes that parking minimums are costly and create significant environmental, economic, and social harms. The developer claims that parking minimums force developers to build far more capacity than is actually required, which raises the cost of construction and ultimately impacts housing affordability.

The builder also believes that an oversupply of parking encourages driving opposed to transit use, reduces density, and requires more land or building area for vehicle storage. The developer believes that a smaller number of parking spaces would be appropriate for the proposed development, given the land’s proximity to the Rideau LRT station and other amenities.

For more information about Smart Living’s proposed development check out this article by the Ottawa Business Journal: