Condemned federal Oak Street complex to be demolished
Communities hoping for year-round farmers market, grocery store, piazza, green space
Community leaders in Little Italy and Chinatown want a say in the future of a prime piece of real estate near Oak Street, where a former warehouse and one-time armoury is set to be demolished.
Tenders recently went out for the demolition of the federal government's Oak Street complex, which is close to the O-Train line and a multi-use pathway. The complex dates back to the Second World War, when it served as an armoury.
The yard is now being used for storage space during renovations on Parliament Hill. The massive warehouse sits mostly empty and has been condemned.
Demolition will begin in October, according to Public Works. For now the land will be backfilled, graded and landscaped.
Future plans for the site are still being developed.
Previous concepts have suggested adding north-south roads into the area, as well as extending Oak Street and other nearby streets into the site, which Powell said likely isn't necessary.
"I see huge potential, if we can get this right," said Lori Mellor, head of the Preston Street Business Improvement Area.
The BIA is worried that the land will be sold off in little chunks, making it difficult to achieve a site that meets the needs of the communities around it, Mellor said.
"The wish list is a year-round farmers market in a piazza space, a grocery store, artist work and live space, mixed density residential housing, and a piece that would be federal office buildings," she said.