A vision for a 15-minute, walkable community underpinned by light rail transit (LRT) access is behind Ottawa's proposed 163.5-acre Falcon Ridge Village. The land on which it would be built is now for sale to any developer who might bring it into being.
Aligned with policies set by the city for a walkable, mixed-use residential community adjacent to critical infrastructure and employment, the development concept is approved by the city and the land is being marketed by Avison Young.
Among the attractions of the Falcon Ridge Village property are the adjacent Bowesville Transit Station, pre-existing neighbouring communities with amenities and the nearby $350-million Hard Rock Casino and Hotel scheduled for completion in 2025.
“It’s a huge opportunity that just never comes along at all,” is how Ron Milligan, sales representative, vice-president at Avison Young, described the property in an interview with RENX Homes.
Toronto-headquartered real estate services firm Avison Young represents the ownership groups that purchased the property and are ready to offer it to developers and investors, according to Gillian Burnside, sales representative and vice president at Avison Young.
Walkability and LRT
Despite its suburban location, Falcon Ridge Village is centred around the City of Ottawa’s and Ontario government’s direction for 15-minute communities where housing, amenities and jobs will be available within walking distance, Milligan said.
The City of Ottawa has also set out a framework to build 15,000 homes per year over the coming decade to deal with a rapidly growing population.
Milligan said investors had Avison Young search around Ottawa for property that has “great potential to be included in the urban boundary.” The parcel of land that became Falcon Ridge Village was identified as a priority because of its pending infrastructure and the existing communities.
Almost 8.5-million square feet of development potential was identified at the site.
Critical to Falcon Ridge Village is the LRT system that will serve as a transportation and commuter artery. Downtown Ottawa and Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport would both be reachable via the LRT.
“The walkable community is intended to provide all of those features that people need within that 15-minute walk, and cut down on transit and car traffic,” Burnside said.
Bowesville station is planned to be open in early 2024.
An additional benefit would be existing amenities from nearby communities such as the suburbs of Riverside South and Findlay Creek. Once Falcon Ridge Village grows to a “substantial” population, the 15-minute community strategy will come more fully into play and other more localized amenities would set up shop, Burnside said.
Retail, office and commercial space is planned to complement the residential community.
Burnside said planning is “well underway” to provide the infrastructure within the next five years, and the secondary plan for the village must be approved by 2025.
Housing potential at Falcon Ridge
The types and number of residential units at Falcon Ridge Village is not yet set, but Ottawa-based Hobin Architecture and Fotenn Planning created a demonstration plan to showcase the potential for the planned community.
The plan by Hobin and Fotenn anticipates over 10,000 units across single-family townhomes, multifamily homes, transit-oriented density homes and an “extensive” rental market component which would benefit from federal and provincial incentives.
“It can be 5,000 homes, it could be 10,000 homes,” Milligan said about the master plans. A purchaser may have a different vision, such as more single-family, mid-rise or low-rise housing, he added.
Milligan said Avison Young has representation from investors in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to ensure it reaches out to all large investors and developers across Canada.