Apartment complex planned for former hospital site

Johannes Court
Lepine Apartments, a Kanata-based company which is building the apartment complex in Carleton Place shown in this artists’ rendering, plans to construct a new 132-unit, four-story building on the former site of the South Unit of the Smiths Falls Community Hospital at 45 Elmsley St. S. Photo submitted.
Posted on: June 9, 2020

The former site of the South Unit of the Smiths Falls Community Hospital, vacant since 1998, should soon be home to a brand new 132-unit apartment complex.

Kanata-based company Lepine Apartments purchased the land last September from a private owner and has announced plans for a v-shaped, four-story building. Demolition of the old structures and environmental clean-up have been completed, said Lepine’s in-house urban planner, Don Schultz. The next step will be rezoning of the general commercial property to allow a greater density of dwelling units, and to allow one building to be slightly taller than existing restrictions. Lepine will be appearing before town council this fall.

Lepine has a similar project under way in Carleton Place, a three-building  complex located on Coleman Street. Construction began in the spring of 2018, and two of the three buildings have been completed.

“We’re very excited about the opportunities in Smiths Falls,” said Schultz. He said the company decided to invest in the community because of recent job creation by Canopy Growth and related business giving strong indication of future economic growth. The town’s location between Ottawa and Kingston was also an attraction.

The former South Unit property at 45 Elmsley St. S. is also a good location, said Schultz, because it is located within walking distance of downtown and is very accessible by car. The planned apartment complex will have underground parking.

Apartments in the building should be of interest to older people looking to downsize, but also affordable for most working people, said Lepine, adding, “We market to what we believe is a broad range of household and income types.”

Lepine not only builds but also manages its apartment buildings. Amenities planned for the Smiths Falls project include a workout room and a multi-purpose space as well underground parking. The company plans to keep the existing mature trees fronting on Elmsley Street, which Schultz said are “a tremendous natural asset that we want to keep.” The company will also carry out extensive landscaping on the site.

Schultz said the Smiths Falls project will have a single v-shaped building with a flat roof, and slightly more modern architecture than the company’s Carleton Place complex.

“We’re excited about this particular design,” said Schultz.” We know we can do this and make the economics work.”

Article by Chris Must