Welcome to Tribeca (the Claridge version)

With suite names like "Bowery", "Times Square" and "Broadway" over at Claridge Plaza 3, it would seem that Claridge is in a New York state of mind these days. So welcome to Tribeca, Claridge's latest ambition for downtown Ottawa slated for 187 Metcalfe St between Lisgar and Nepean:

(Architect's drawing of a bit of NYC in Ottawa)

If this location seems familiar, recall the joint bid by Claridge and the City of Ottawa for the national portrait gallery that the federal government was pretending to sponsor back in 2008.

This was an arduous and drawn out
affair with much name calling and finger pointing in the media. Some councillors decried Claridge for "blackmailing" the city for permission to build 27 storeys in an area zoned for twelve. The end result? Claridge was granted permission to build 27 storeys in an area zoned for twelve, despite that the federal government cancelled plans for a portrait gallery altogether:

(Tribeca's twin towers as seen from Nepean St)

Now that the dust has cleared and the bad PR has faded
, work is well underway for the February 2010 launch of Tribeca, downtown Ottawa's largest condo project to date with two 27-storey condo towers along Nepean St, office and retail space, and a bank of townhomes on Lisgar St.

In an attempt to "contribute to the fabric of the neighbourhood" (as quoted in the Centretown News in November 2009)
, Tribeca's commercial space calls for a grocery store and daycare centre at ground level, both of these essential services that are sorely lacking in downtown Ottawa.

Taking a cue from the name Tribeca, I note with interest that this project will be marketed as "NYC-style lofts", which is quite a departure for Claridge. Could this edgier side of Claridge be in response to Urban Capital's success with The Mondrian and Central? Certainly the curved facade of the eastern tower is some of the most risqué design Ottawa has yet to see:

Plans filed with City Hall call for 9 units per floor, larger than comparable units at The Mondrian, mostly open concept and some with exposed pillars, ranging in size from studios at 532sqft and 1-bedrooms at 645sqft, up to 1065sqft for a 2-bedroom suite:

Tribeca is due to be launched this coming month. Given Ottawa's recent thirst for urban condos and this project's choice location just a block from Elgin St, I predict that Tribeca could be Claridge's fastest selling project so far.