Timbercreek Communities, Ottawa & Toronto – Resident Relocation and Engagement Project
July 2015 – Present
Timbercreek Communities acquired an ideally located piece of property in 2012 known as Heron Gate, situated in Ottawa’s south end. In response to years of neglect and poor maintenance, Timbercreek Communities immediately began a comprehensive rehabilitation project and as of late 2015, had spent more than $30 M in property reinvestments. The next phase in the rejuvenation of Heron Gate was to redevelop the site to increase the number of leasable units. The first phase of this redevelopment was the demolition of area bordering Heron Road (HG7), and its replacement with low-rise apartment buildings.
To clear the way for the demolition, Momentum Planning and Communications was mandated to initiate a Relocation and Communications Program in October 2015 to assist with the eviction of the existing tenants of HG7. The goal of this initiative was to ensure a smooth relocation process for the tenants and to manage the potential media and public impacts of the process on Timbercreek as a corporate landlord.
The Timbercreek project fits in well with the City of Ottawa’s revitalization plans of that particular section of Ottawa South. The City recently re-designated Walkley Road, a main artery next to Heron Gate, as a Mainstreet. This designation means new zoning bylaws encouraging more development in residential, retail and office buildings. The current zoning of HG7 permits redevelopment of the site for low rise apartment buildings which will add to Ottawa’s rental inventory by approximately 300 or more units. This comes at a time when the City is in desperate demand of new apartment rental units as the current supply is lagging behind growth demands.
Momentum’s work included assisting Timbercreek Residents and their families to find equivalent if not better accommodations within the Heron Gate Community, maintain contact with the Ward Councillor, the Provincial MPP and the Federal MP, along with the City’s Housing Department and Community Service Centre. We also orchestrated meetings with Heron Gate tenants along with public meetings with local residents, concerned with the new proposed development.
Today, the Heron Gate project is well underway and construction of the new buildings should be completed by 2019.