Demand strong for Zibi phase one, says Windmill partner - Zibi

Demand strong for Zibi phase one, says Windmill partner

By: TOM PECHLOFF, OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL – Published on: May 29, 2015

A “microcosm” of Windmill Development’s Zibi development at Chaudiere Falls went on sale this weekend.

“Tragically for a developer, Ottawa has never been the kind of town where people camp out and line up down the block and sell out in three hours,” Mr. Wilts said. “That has not been an Ottawa phenomenon, but I definitely expect demand to be very strong and I fully expect we’re going to move a fair number of units.”

Mr. Wilts said Windmill has around 3,500 registrants – those interested in the properties for sale – signed up online. Sixty-five condos will be available Saturday morning at 10 a.m., and Mr. Wilts said Windmill will also be “taking interest” in between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet of commercial and retail space that will go in existing, repurposed buildings. Mr. Wilts said more commercial space will be available soon.A commercial tenant will have to fit the Windmill vision, Mr. Wilts added.“We’re looking a lot at of local operators, locally owned and operated independent businesses,” he said. “We’re inspired by examples like Granville Island (in Vancouver), like the Distillery District in Toronto that is very heavy into those kinds of businesses.”

Mr. Wilts said there is a good mix of businesses interested in setting up shop in Zibi.

“We have some well-loved Ottawa-owned institutions that are big on community and sustainability. Names that people would know that are Ottawa-owned, funky businesses that people love to visit,” he said. “We also have a couple really interesting businesses that don’t yet exist but are being led by Ottawa owners and investors who have been in some cases looking for the perfect site to do something very interesting.”

He said the mix of heritage buildings, waterfront and proximity to both Ottawa’s and Gatineau’s downtowns has peaked a lot of interest.

Mr. Wilts said Windmill feels it has “three differentiators” with the Zibi project: culture, sustainability and being a gateway to outdoor adventures. He said all three of those will be represented at the launch Saturday morning, with catering from an Algonquin-owned business from the Kitigan Zibi reserve, a rock climbing wall, acrobats and an artist painting a mural during the event.

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