News / Ottawa

Redesigned Wellington condo fails at ‘wow’ factor, says city councillor

City staff say new Mizrahi Developments condo is a landmark, but still does not fit neighbourhood plan.

A rendering of the original Wellington Street West condo development, left, and the current design.

The CIty of ottawa

A rendering of the original Wellington Street West condo development, left, and the current design.

A developer’s revamped Wellington West condo development still lacks that “wow” factor, according to an Ottawa city councillor.

Mizrahi Developments is bringing a new 12-storey Wellington Street West condo design to the planning committee on Tuesday.

The plan needs a zoning amendment because it surpasses the nine-storey height limit. However, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruled that the design gets the go-ahead if the top three stories are distinctive enough to make it a “landmark building.” Or an “element of wow.”

The condos now feature a spire and copper roof, similar to that of the Parliamentary Precinct.

In his written feedback, Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper argued the building is an improvement, but is far from a landmark. The design is out of place next to the 1930s-era Champlain Oil gas station, the windows are oversized and the roof is out of scale, he wrote.

“Defining 'landmark' architecture is, as noted, subjective,” he said. “Mizrahi has made a significant effort to create a memorable building, but, I respectfully argue, has failed to be more than derivative.”

City staff say the building meets the OMB’s landmark requirements, but does not fit the Wellington Street West Secondary Plan.

They will also be reviewing the plan – with respect to the terms “landmark” and “gateway architecture” – to prevent this from happening again.

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