Ottawa planning committee OKs Bronson Avenue student housing tower

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City planning committee has approved Textbook Suites' proposal to build 172 bachelor, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for university students at 774 Bronson Ave., just south of Carling Avenue.

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

Students who want to live off campus will soon have another option — a 12-storey, purpose-built private student residence on Bronson Avenue, about a kilometre north of Carleton University.

The planning committee on Tuesday approved Textbook Suites' proposal to build 172 bachelor, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for university students at 774 Bronson Ave., just south of Carling Avenue.

The 3,549-square-metre lot has frontage on both Bronson and Cambridge Street South. Plans call for the west side of the building off Cambridge to incorporate setbacks at the fifth, eighth, 10th and 12th storeys to concentrate the density on the Bronson side.

There will be a total of 38 parking spaces, including 21 for visitors. While that number may seem low for the number of units, the committee was assured parking studies undertaken by Textbook for student residences the company has built at other universities shows that the proposed parking should be sufficient.

There will also be ample bike parking and the building is on multiple bus routes.

If the city can't approve building rental units at this location with little parking, argued Capital Coun. David Chernushenko, then where could it?

Speaking on behalf of Textbook Suites, Carl Furney of the planning and design firm FoTenn noted the lack of parking hasn't been an issue at similar purpose-built student developments in Ottawa. A building at 45 Mann Ave., for example, has 49 parking spaces, but only five have been spoken for by students living there.

Meanwhile, Ashcroft's Capital Hall condominiums, a 28-storey tower in Little Italy, has no parking whatsoever for residents.

Textbook's latest proposal comes less than a year after council approved its plan to build 275 units for students in two 26-storey towers at 256 Rideau St. and 211 Besserer St.

The planning committee also approved development of a site immediately to the north, at 770 Bronson Ave., where a former automobile repair garage will be replaced with a six-storey building.

Elsewhere, against the wishes of Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper and several neighbours, the committee approved the development of a four-storey low-rise apartment building at 404 Eden Ave.

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