The City of Guelph has selected Windmill Development Group as its preferred partner for the Baker District project in downtown Guelph. The project will see the transformation of the existing parking lot and properties facing the north end of Wyndham Street into a unique mixed-use community, which will also include a new public library and plaza.
The development will follow the principles of One Planet Living, which is a planning and sustainability framework founded on building communities where residents live within the resources of our planet. Its principles include sustainable food and water, zero carbon energy, zero waste, equity and economy.
The development, which will stand between Woolwich and Quebec streets, bordered by Baker Street to the west and St. George’s Square to the east, will feature two distinct residential buildings that will house approximately 275 residential units. A component of the suites are being planned as affordable housing.
Windmill will own and develop the residential and commercial components of the project, while partnering with the City on the public components, including the library, parking and public spaces. The City will support the development of the site by completing technical studies, environmental site preparation and upgrades to off-site infrastructure. The City will also decide whether support for the development project is available through Downtown Guelph Community Involvement Plan grant and loan programs.
“Windmill’s proven development experience, financial strength, ambition and award-winning design excellence align with the City’s vision and objectives for this important downtown project,” said Scott Stewart, deputy CAO of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise, in a press release. “Awarding this project marks a critical milestone in the Baker District redevelopment project as we’re able to move forward with development concepts, getting us closer to revitalizing this underused urban space.”
The development team, led by Windmill, also includes Diamond Schmitt Architects, DTAH and Urban Equation Corporation. Urban Equation will be designing a sustainability framework based on One Planet Living principles. The companies will work closely with the City and Guelph Public Library over the coming months to achieve a final plan for the development, which will be presented to Council for consideration in 2020.
“The Baker Street development represents a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate Wyndham Street North with new civic and cultural resources and a significant population of new residents,” said Megan Torza, partner at DTAH, the firm that will handle the development’s landscape and urban design, as well as architecture alongside Diamond Schmitt.
This announcement follows Windmill’s BILD Toronto Project of the Year award for The Plant, a project themed around urban agriculture that follows One Planet Living principles. It also comes after another Windmill project, The Eddy, a mixed-use development in the Hintonburg neighbourhood of Ottawa, was designated LEED Platinum.