An Ottawa developer has signed a letter of intent to purchase 37 acres of land around the Chaudière Islands from Domtar Corp. with the intent of building a mixed-use sustainable community.

Windmill Development Group is undertaking due diligence but a representative said the company is optimistic it will be in a position to make a formal announcement on the potential purchase in early September.

"Our vision for the Chaudière Islands is to reinvent a historically rich industrial space into a vibrant, world-class, sustainable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development," wrote spokesperson Katie Paris in a blog post on the developer's website.

"Through historically sensitive redevelopment, the Chaudière region can be reanimated to bring new life and energy to this once bustling heart of industry. The harmonious integration of modern sustainable infrastructure into the heritage fabric of the Isles has the potential to provide the people of Ottawa and Gatineau with a new way to experience and appreciate the natural splendor of the Ottawa River."

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The Domtar buildings are a familiar sight for commuters crossing the Chaudière Bridge to and from Ottawa and Gatineau. (Google Street View)

The developer said they would not comment further on the proposed acquisition until the sale of the land has been confirmed.

Land in need of remediation

The area owned by Domtar includes Chaudière Island, Albert Island and nearby waterfront property in Gatineau.

Its unique position on the water and at the provincial border — with close proximity to the downtown core, bike paths and tourist attractions like the Canadian War Museum and Victoria Island — make the area an attractive piece of real estate.

But the area is tricky for development because it borders parcels of land owned by Hydro Quebec, the National Capital Commission, Public Works and the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau.

It also has historical buildings and, because of its industrial past, land in need of remediation. The area is also part of an Algonquin land claim. A deal between the NCC and Domtar to purchase the land fell through 18 months ago.