By: TOM PECHLOFF, OTTAWA BUSINESS JOURNAL – Published on Novembre 6, 2015
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation may think there are too many condos in the Ottawa market, but Windmill Developments is still expecting a strong launch Saturday for the first phase on the Ontario side of its Zibi Development.
“To have a good launch in Ottawa, if you’re about 30 per cent sold on launch, that’s considered great launch,” said Windmill partner Rodney Wilts. “I believe we’re going to blow that out of the water.”
Mr. Wilts said he believes there was an oversupply in Ottawa last year, but very few projects have launched over the last 12 months.
“The market is correcting itself,” Mr. Wilts said. “What we’re seeing is that extra inventory is quickly getting gobbled up and we’re really returning to a healthy market.”
Mr. Wilts said that even with the oversupply, “good projects in good locations” still sell very well.
“This is an amazing location. RIght on the river, views of Parliament, walk to 150,000 jobs, amazing old heritage buildings,” he said.
The launch begins on the site at 10 a.m. complete with jazz musicians and local food offerings. Mr. Wilts said it won’t quite match the spectacle of the launch earlier this year on the Gatineau side, which was for many the first time they’d ever set foot on the site.
But he is expecting a good day, he said.
“Demand seems very strong. We have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5,000 registrants which are people that have gone to our website since we launched zibi.ca,” he said.
Of course, not everyone is happy about the project as more protests were held earlier in the week, with a couple dozen people gathering on Victoria Island to sign a petition to try to halt the project. The protesters are opposed to a development on what is considered sacred Algonquin territory.
Mr. Wilts said thousands of people came to Windmill’s public consultations on the development.
“We know that 99 per cent of the people were overwhelmingly in favour of the project happening. There’s a strong vocal one per cent,” he said, adding that comes with the territory in the development business.
The launch Saturday comes while the Ontario Municipal Board is still considering an appeal to halt the development, but Mr. Wilts said both Windmill and city lawyers are confident the appeal will be rejected.
Mr. Wilts said the condos will be move-in ready for fall 2017.