Anita Murray, Ottawa Citizen
Buyers will soon be calling Sparks Street home with the release of the first street-level townhouses. Part of a development called Cathedral Hill, the eight town-homes will be integrated with a 21-storey condo tower on an escarpment overlooking the Garden of the Provinces at Sparks Street and Bronson Avenue.
The project is being built on Anglican Church land that is the home to Christ Church Cathedral. Although there was some opposition, developer Windmill Developments worked with the church and the city to make sure the project, which includes an office tower, defers to the cathedral.
Cathedral Hill launched last fall with brisk sales of the condo units. The final release, which includes 10 townhomes (there are two others that incorporate the facades of two semi-detached homes facing Queen Street), came last weekend. The townhomes range from 1,389 square feet for a Queen Street unit to 2,223 square feet with a 600-square-foot rooftop terrace and elevator for one of the Sparks Street homes. Prices range from $675,000 to $1.5 million. Units range from two bedrooms to three bedrooms plus den, and some plans allow for the ground floor to be easily used as a business space. The townhouses will also have access to the amenities available in the condo tower, which include rooftop garden plots, a fitness centre, a movie theatre, wine storage, a dog washing room, an electric car charging station and a concierge.
Also released last weekend were eight penthouses, six terraces and the last of the 139 condo units.
The development has aimed to transform a patchwork of parking lots and historic structures into a block that integrates contemporary buildings with the cathedral. Roper House, which serves as the bishop’s office and sales centre for the project, is preserved, along with Lauder Hall, a century-old building housing church offices and choir space. What makes the project work is the demolition of Cathedral Hall, a 1950s building on Sparks Street that will be replaced by the townhomes. Demolition could start as early as next week, and Windmill is building a new parish hall.
Cathedral Hill is the seventh multi-residential project for Windmill Developments, an Ottawa-based, eco-logically minded company founded in 2003. An industry leader in green building, all of Windmill’s residential projects, most of which are in Western Canada, have been built to at least LEED platinum standards, the highest level for green building under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Windmill is aiming for a LEED platinum designation with Cathedral Hill as well.
The company is aiming for a February 2014 occupancy.
For details, visit the sales centre at Roper House (entrance off Queen, near Bronson) Monday to Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; weekends noon to 5 p.m.; or by appointment. Or call 613-566-7010 or visit cathedralhill.ca.