A 25 year major redevelopment of Tunney’s Pasture warrants community feedback, the Harper government announced Monday.
The feds are “absolutely” open to commercial and residential development, Ottawa-West Nepean MP John Baird said, in place of public works minister Rona Ambrose.
Buildings that have reached the end of their life cycle may be torn down, Baird said.
Public consultation begins next month.
The plan is to ensure more effective and efficient use of the 49-hectare site within the boundaries of the property, capitalizing on its location along the future LRT line.
“This is first and foremost taking advantage of a Crown asset,” said John McBain, assistant deputy minister of the real property branch.
Tunney’s houses Statistics Canada and Health Canada offices, with about 10,000 employees.
There’s capacity to double that amount, said McBain.
Linda Hoad from the Hintonburg Community Association is happy residents’ opinions matter.
“I was concerned when I first heard it, that it was just going to be an announcement, and ‘this is what we’re doing’ so it’s good to know we will be consulted,” said Hoad.
Public servants polled at Tunney’s weighed in on changes they envision.
“It would be good if the buildings were…better maintained,” said one man.
“Some of them seem to be getting older over time, so that would be nice to see.”
In addition, “I wouldn’t want the green space eliminated. It’s used quite a bit by a lot of the people that work here,” he said, as almost a dozen people played volleyball in front of the Jean Talon building.
A Health Canada employee said they hold a volleyball tournament each year.
Another staffer said homes should be built in Kanata and Stittsville, where there’s plenty of land.
“It’s a peaceful area. I like it the way it is,” he said.
Baird mentioned the “cold, institutional feel,” of existing structures, adding the goal is to “provide a leading edge, high quality, healthy, and green working environment for our public servants.”
A master plan must get rubber stamped by the National Capital Commission.
Two potential options will be presented to the public at an open house on Sept. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Jean-Talon building at 170 Tunney’s Pasture Drwy.
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