Next-gen neighborhood? Nokia Proposes New Office and R&D Campus, Residential Towers in Kanata North

One of the largest employers in the region is proposing to tear down the existing Kanata North campus and replace it with a new 500,000-square-foot office complex and as many as 11 residential high-rises with up to 1,900 units.

In planning documents recently submitted to the city, Finnish telecom giant Nokia says it plans to build a new office and R&D hub on half a million square feet on March Road, with about 35,000 square feet of commercial and retail space on the ground floor.

The new campus, located just south of Nokia’s current facility at 600 March Rd. would contain two office towers and parking for 1,344 vehicles.

In addition, Nokia says it plans to tear down its existing office buildings and parking lot area and instead build 11 residential towers ranging from 13 to 29 floors.

The proposal calls for 1,900 units along with nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants and other amenities and 2,410 parking spaces. Most of the parking areas would be underground, with some level visitor areas.

The development will require some zoning changes as some of the proposed buildings exceed the current height limits of 144 feet and retail is not permitted on the northern half of the site.

‘Necessary transformation’

When it comes to fruition, the new development would add thousands of additional residents to an area that is already one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods.

Jamie Petten, executive director of Kanata North Business Association, which has discussed the plan with Nokia, says the development could play a major role in the “necessary transformation” of the technology park into a mixed-use district with vibrant commercial and residential components. .

“Our everyday life involves many elements other than just the one-time use of office space,” she said.

In addition, Petten said the technology park aims to become a “living laboratory” where companies like Nokia, Ericsson, Ciena and others can showcase technology such as autonomous shuttles in real-world conditions.

“Our everyday life encompasses many other elements than just the one-time use of office space.”

“Our businesses are growing faster than ever and the momentum is great, but to continue that momentum we need to create an environment within the park where talent can live, work, play, learn and innovate,” she said. “This proposal from Nokia really supports that.”

Nokia, which employs approximately 2,400 employees in the National Capital Region, believes the redeveloped site could become the hub of a neighborhood with a mix of office, residential and retail spaces.

The Finnish company does much of its research into next-generation 5G communications technology at its March Road facility, while fellow network infrastructure giants Ericsson and Ciena also have major R&D centers nearby.

In total, Kanata North technology park employs more than 30,000 employees at more than 500 companies. Nokia is betting that the area’s population will continue to grow rapidly — and that tech workers will want to return to their offices and live nearby.

“It is likely that many of the future residents of the buildings in the[Kanata North tech park]will be working and able to walk or cycle to work,” planning documents prepared for Nokia by consultancy Novatech. “While subject to future Site Plan applications, the amount of living space (space) will allow for a wide range of apartment sizes to suit a wide range of people and budgets.”

Noting that about half of the technology park’s employees already live in the area, Petten said the addition of even more coffee shops, restaurants, nurseries and other amenities under Nokia’s plan will make Kanata North an even more attractive place to live. whether some residents choose to work from home.

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