Ottawa Citizen, Neco Cockburn – A 165-bed residence planned by the University of Ottawa should have suites designed to be easily converted to condominium units “in the far future,” say tender documents.
Current plans put estimated construction costs of the on-campus “Henderson Residence” at $12 million, and the project is to be completed before Aug. 1, 2015, according to documents filed Tuesday to seek expressions of interest from architectural firms.
The new building is planned for 206 Henderson Ave., north of Templeton Street and in front of the university’s Advanced Research Complex that’s under construction.
The university has been working on plans for new residences as the number of spaces it offers has not kept pace with the growth of its undergraduate population. It estimates that it needs about 1,000 more beds over the next three to four years.
The university has also voiced plans to seek someone to build an off-campus residence for about 700 students, according to Action Sandy Hill, the area community association that has met with school officials.
A university spokesman provided little information about the plans last week, but tender documents list a “functional program” for the Henderson Residence, noting that the current zoning would restrict the building’s height to four storeys.
A “suite style residence” is planned, the documents indicate, with a shared bathroom in each two-bedroom unit. Laundry facilities and lounge, dining and kitchen common areas are required, along with common study areas on each floor.
The community association has said that at least two property owners have also discussed early plans for potential privately-run residences that would be built off campus.
Student-housing demand has resulted in property owners across Sandy Hill converting single-family homes and duplexes into multi-unit apartments with several bedrooms and small amounts of common space. The city has placed a temporary ban on such projects while it comes up with ways to limit them.