Ampersand is a 400-metre walk to the transit station and the trip downtown would take about 40 minutes, says Stirling.
It’s likely Ampersand will be developed in two chunks.
The first phase, north of Chapman Mills Drive, will cover 15 hectares of land and feature 1,100 units. The second phase, to be located south of Chapman Mills Drive, will also cover about 15 hectares and see construction of an additional 1,100 apartments and terraces.
The buildings, which have been designed by Ottawa architect Barry Hobin, have been in the development stage for four years, while Minto has been building in Chapman Mills since the ‘90s, says executive vice-president Robert Greenberg.
“When we were doing the master plan for Chapman Mills and the RioCan mall got developed, we always meant to have a higher density area,” says Greenberg, adding it will offer an affordable alternative to downtown condo living.
“There is nothing like this in the city,” says Stirling. “It is unique to the Ottawa marketplace. It is an urban form of community in the suburbs.
“We have talked a lot about intensification and smart growth and now we are doing something about it. We are building it.”
Ampersand will be a green leader, meeting standards for a LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) community, since it will be positioned close to public transportation, shopping and schools.
The gallery suites will feature 14 apartments in four-storey buildings made of wood, constructed on a concrete slab and featuring an elevator. Plans call for 112 apartments to be built in the first phase.
There will be another six buildings of terrace townhomes, with a variety of units. The smallest building will have 16 terrace homes and the largest will have 32 terrace homes in a lowrise building with underground parking. Minto estimates 280 terrace homes will be built in the first phase.
“Development all depends on the market,” says Marcel Denomme, Minto’s director of land development. “There may be higher densities in the later phases.” And the meaning of Ampersand? “Ampersand is a marketing name, but it is also the connector,” says Shea. “It connects home to recreation, to rest and to everything you need in a community. It is a connection to all things in your life that are important.”
The first owners are expected to move in late in 2011.