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First public consultation scheduled for December 11th, 2013
Ottawa, December 4, 2013 – After months of due diligence, Ottawaâs Windmill Development Group and Domtar have signed a definitive Agreement of Purchase and Sale (Agreement) for Domtarâs property on Ottawaâs Albert and ChaudiĂ¨re Islands and downtown Gatineau.
âOur vision is to create Canadaâs most sustainable mixed-used community right here in the nationâs capital,â said Jonathan Westeinde, co-founder of the Windmill Development Group. âWe plan to bring new life and energy to this once bustling heart of industry, and give the people of Ottawa and Gatineau a new way to experience and appreciate one of the great rivers of the world, the Ottawa.â
Through historically and environmentally sensitive redevelopment, Windmill, one of Canadaâs greenest developers, plans to reinvent the area into a vibrant, world-class, sustainable, pedestrian-oriented mixed-use community.
The Agreement with Domtar commits Windmill to purchasing the property, with the only remaining condition being rezoning of the property for a mixed-use community-scale development. Windmill plans to present its planning application to Ottawa and Gatineau city councils in the spring. The financial terms of the Agreement are not being released at this stage.
âWe are pleased to be transferring the stewardship and revitalization of this important redevelopment opportunity to Windmill. Windmillâs commitment to sustainability aligns with Domtarâs corporate mission and we are confident will result in a world-class development that will enhance the Nationâs Capitalâ said Stewart Marcoux, Vice President Asset Redeployment for Domtar.
As part of its due diligence process, Windmill consulted with a wide-range of groups, including the City of Gatineau and Ottawa, Energy Ottawa, the Government of Canada, the Algonquins of Ontario, the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg band of Algonquins, the National Capital Commission, the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Destination Gatineau, Ecology Ottawa, Heritage Canada Foundation and many others.
âThe encouragement weâve received from the National Capital Commission, the two cities, the Algonquin people, and the environmental community has been overwhelming. People are extremely enthusiastic to have something great happen at this location,â says Windmill partner Rodney Wilts.
Windmill will hold its first public consultation December 11th, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The public will have an opportunity to comment on Windmillâs development principles for the property. Registration for the event, and a preview of the development principles can be found at www.the-isles.ca or www.les-iles.ca.
Windmill Development Group will not be granting interviews at this time.
Media are invited to attend the December 11 public consultation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Windmill will be giving two presentations in French and English, one at 6:00 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.
âIâm delighted to see that there is a plan being developed to revitalize an important piece of our local and national history. We need to find ways for this land to reach its full potential, and offer residents and visitors greater access to the Ottawa River, a national treasure. This is an opportunity to create a complete community that represents the Canada we dream of for the future: dynamic, livable and sustainable. We look forward to giving the plan careful consideration when it is presented to the City.â Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
âThe successful realization of the full potential and urban revitalization of downtown Gatineau depends on the sustained commitment and involvement of all players. This land has been central to the regionâs history, as a seat of Aboriginal culture, the birthplace of our first industries, and a place visited by every one of the great explorers. Carrying out such a project would help make the downtown the pride of all Gatineau residents.â Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau.
âWindmillâs plan to celebrate ChaudiĂ¨re Islandâs historical significance and to bring new life and energy to the waterfront is completely aligned with our aspirations for that space and the region.â – Jean-FranĂ§ois TrĂŠpanier, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission
Windmill is a visionary company dedicated to transforming conventional development practices by ensuring that strong ecological, social and financial returns are achieved in all their projects. Every Windmill development is conceived, designed and constructed to protect and enhance the local community and its ecosystems. Windmill is the only developer in North America that has achieved LEED Platinum on all its mixed-use projects.Â The companyâs founders have held prominent positions in the Canadian design, construction,Â brownfield and green real estate industry for more than 30 years, resulting in an unmatched value proposition when it comes to responsible urban infill and property revitalization. Sample completed projects include The Currents, a performing arts centre and modern condominium tower in Ottawaâs Wellington West neighborhood, Acqua & Vento, two mixed-use buildings in Calgary and Dockside Green, a 1.5 million square foot planned model sustainable community in Victoria that was named one of 16 Clinton Climate Initiative Climate Positive developments.
Windmill currently has two additional LEED Platinum target projects under construction in Ottawa: Cathedral Hill, a 140 unit mixed-use project located on the west end of Sparks Street in Ottawa and the Eddy, a 53-unit mixed-use project located in Hintonburg in Ottawa.
Partner, Windmill Developments
Register for more information at www.les-iles.ca.
As Canadaâs greenest real estate developer, Windmill projects converge their core values of integrity, sustainability and innovation. The ecological and environmental responsibility inherent in our project management approach allowed for the opportunity to participate in Enbridgeâs Savings By Design campaign â a building initiative that subsidizes the Integrated Design Process and provides additional incentives for adopting green practices throughout the course of a buildingâs development. Learn more about this program here: www.savingsbydesign.ca
Using an Integrated Design Process, Windmill engaged a team of sustainability professionals who worked in collaboration to offer creative and innovative designs that partner sustainable structures with contemporary architecture. Inspired to make a difference in our communities, Windmill offers green features and practices in conjunction with the Canada Green Building Councilâs LEED Platinum certification status such as innovative heating and cooling systems, tight building exterior (envelope), and quality appliances and lighting fixtures. These elements of design not only help minimize our carbon footprint but offer our homeowners real savings in lower energy bills, proving that the best ecological choices are also good economic choices. With new projects underway in Centretown and Hintonburg, Windmill buyers are sure to be seduced by the neighborhood charms and the modern conveniences of urban living.
Click here for a short video of how the Savings By Design program works and how Windmillsâ commitment to a green lifestyle helps build stronger and healthier communities. You can be a pioneer in your community too by making one of Windmillsâ spectacular green developments your home.
STATEMENT TO MEDIA
On July 15th, Ottawa-based Windmill Development Group signed a letter of intent to purchase the Domtar site on the ChaudiĂ¨re Islands.
Windmill is in the process of undertaking due diligence before any sale can be completed. We are optimistic that we will be in a position to make a formal announcement related to this potential purchase and our vision for the site in early September. Until the sale of the land has been confirmed, Windmill will not be granting interviews to media.
Windmill Developments is currently studying the suitability of the site for a mixed-use sustainable community. Residents and concerned parties can rest assured that Windmill takes its responsibility related to this historic and symbolic property extremely seriously. As with all of our projects, if we proceed we will be undertaking an extensive consultation process to ensure the views of interested parties are considered as part of our design process.
Our vision for the ChaudiĂ¨re Islands is to reinvent a historically rich, industrial space into a vibrant, world-class, sustainable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development. Through historically sensitive redevelopment, the ChaudiĂ¨re region can be reanimated to bring new life and energy to this once bustling heart of industry. The harmonious integration of modern sustainable infrastructure into the heritage fabric of the Isles has the potential to provide the people of Ottawa and Gatineau with a new way to experience and appreciate the natural splendor of the Ottawa River.
About Windmill Developments
Windmill Developments is an Ottawa-based real estate development firm, with an unparalleled expertise in highly sustainable developments, with a particular focus on remediating brownfield sites.Â Windmill Developments is best known for their Dockside Green development in Victoria, BC. Dockside was one of 18 developments around the globe recognized by the Clinton Climate Initiative as being âClimate Positiveâ, and was called potentially the worldâs greenest community by The Atlantic magazine. Windmill Developments is the only company in Canada with a completed portfolio of LEED Platinum mixed-use developments. Current projects include Cathedral Hill (www.cathedralhill.ca), The Eddy (www.theeddy.ca), Union Lofts (www.unionlofts.ca), and Whitewater Village (www.whitewatervillage.ca). For more information on Windmill Developments visit www.windmilldevelopments.com.
For further information:
Partner, Windmill Developments
Office number 613.203.7365
The Green Line Ideas Competition is a global competition that called on architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, artists and community members to formulate design proposals to improve the functionality of a 5km long hydro corridor in midtown Toronto. The competition aimed to use this particular hydro corridor as a template for potential ways to improve the public uses of these derelict spaces in cities all across North America.
Alex Speigel, Managing Partner of Windmill Development Groupâs Toronto office, partnered with Susan Speigel Architect Inc. to create a visionary design focused on green energy production as a way to fund other public realm improvements along the corridor. Windmillâs submission placed 2nd out of a total 77 competition entrants. We proposed a scheme based on retrofitting existing infrastructure to generate clean, renewable energy using vertical wind turbines, photovoltaic arrays, and geothermal loops below grade.
Whereas most other competition entrants focused on single issues, Windmill Developmentâs approach was more holistic and comprehensive. The energy harnessed through these infrastructure improvements would serve as a source of revenue to fund a variety of the public realm enhancements put forth by other competition entrants. The proposal has received support from city councilors, the local community, and was featured in this weekâs NRU. Whether or not any of the winning designs will actually be implemented remains to be seen but the ideas competition has certainly stimulated positive community discussion and helped to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Dec. 4, 2012) – Ottawa-based residential developer Windmill Development Group has unveiled the condo of the future, a sustainable infill condominium building that marries stringent green innovation with modern design and genuine community improvement.
The Eddy is a six-storey, 57-unit condo development in the heart of Hintonburg, one of Ottawa’s fastest growing and hippest downtown neighbourhoods. The low-rise, angle-shaped building makes the most of the limited space of a former parking lot and serves as an innovative model for how developers and community associations can work together to make intensification work.
“Canada’s larger urban centres are embracing intensification to address population growth, optimize existing infrastructure and costs, and reduce traffic,” said Rodney Wilts, Development Manager, Windmill Development Group. “Our experience is that intensification doesn’t have to come at the expense of the community. With The Eddy, we are again proving that we can work within community design plans, while providing the most effective green technologies and visually appealing designs.”
“From consultation to design, Windmill’s project has helped us achieve our goals of encouraging new buildings that fit into the Wellington streetscape, and promoting an active, creative and involved community,” said Jay Baltz of the Hintonburg Community Association. “We truly believe that The Eddy and its residents will contribute to and improve our neighbourhood.”
Learn what makes Windmill unique in the development world, what values drive our team and why our partners and clients choose Canada’s Greenest Developer. Beyond our green initiatives, this video explores the company’s world-class reputation for being a rigorous and holistic driving force in sustainable real estate.
We are pleased with press coverage of our program to help non-profits, and in particular, churches and other religious groups, to optimize their real estate assets.Â Our Cathedral Hill development is a great example of a church, the Anglican Diocese, leveraging its underused lands to create a new revenue stream to support its activities and provide much-needed resources to maintain and repair its existing cathedral.
The Ottawa Business Journal’s Elizabeth Howell wrote about our efforts, noting that heritage properties such as the Christ Church Cathedral are expensive properties to maintain, and shrinking, aging congregations have troubleÂ shouldering that burden.
Jonathan Westeinde was interviewed on CBC’s Ottawa Morning on Aug. 29, detailing the approach Windmill is taking, through its affiliate BuildGreen Solutions.Â BuildGreen’s real estate optimization program for non-profits focuses on engaging with church groups and other non-profits with underused real estate assets to create a business plan for renovation or redevelopment.
Check out Reinventing Ottawa’s posts on Dockside Green… Local writer Kevin Bourne muses on what Lebreton Flats could have been, looking at Dockside Green as a model, and analyzes an article on Dockside in The Atlantic.Â We agree, and hope that the future plans for Lebreton Flats will include a host of green features and holistic, integrated design.
We have been watching the plans for light rail with great interest.Â Our Cathedral Hill project site is very close to the proposed Downtown West station, and transit accessibility is a key aspect of sustainable, infill developments.Â Â The design and functionality of this system will be important to our eventual resident and tenants.
During early development of the light rail concept, we had developed some concerns with the system design: the proposed tunnel seemed too deep, and the budget seemed to regularly inflate during the course of project planning.Â While we are in favour of investments in green infrastructure, we thought there were fundamental choices about the light rail system that just didnât seem well-thought out.
We are therefore much happier with the revised plan, announced last week by Mayor Watson.Â In our judgment, the change of alignment from Albert Street to Queen Street is a large benefit to riders â and not only the eventual riders from Cathedral Hill, who now will have to walk only one block up the street to get on a train!Â (See the map of the proposed station here â click on the aerial photograph.) Â The main benefit is that the redesign brings the tunnel depth up 24 meters â and will therefore be a much friendlier design to riders.Â We were having a hard time imagining riders wanting to descend the equivalent of twelve storeys underground to access a train to go two or three stops, for instance.Â It just didnât seem believable that people would want to do that. Â (Before the City fully updates the LRT web site, you can still see the computer simulation of the descent into the deep Albert Street station at the same link as above.Â We think youâll agree that it takes a long time just to âflyâ down those escalators!) Â The newly-proposed, shallower tunnel (four storeys below grade) makes a lot more sense in terms of ridership and budget.
This new plan gives us more confidence that the City is on the right track (so to speak) in implementing the project.Â However, weâll have to keep a close eye on how the project is tendered and how the City plans to manage construction.
We are thrilled that the Cathedral Hill development will be so well-placed with respect to this major new infrastructure project.