The $100,000 hole

205 Crichton Street - 15 Dufferin Road, All Green Projects, Build Projects, Design Projects, Plan Projects


For the last month I’ve been working with my land surveyor, my excavator and the City of Ottawa’s Infrastructure Approvals staff to keep the cost of site preparation at 205 Crichton Street – 15 Dufferin Road under control.  On October 10th our grading and servicing plan received approval from the City of Ottawa.  For an infill project like this one, that includes demolition of an existing building and the need for new services, I might typically budget $30,000 – $60,000 to get the site ready to go.  So, I had difficulty accepting the excavation estimates in the $100,000 range that I’ve been considering.

My design for this property includes a vehicle storage area to be located below the existing grade, so as to minimize its visibility from the public realm that surrounds the property.  (Eliminating an existing garage door and asphalt driveway was an important part of my case for permission to redevelop the site, in the interest of improving the streetscape.)  As it turns out, it is the pipes not the parking that is pushing up the cost of preparing the site for redevelopment.

The below grade amenity space and parking area I am planning is an added cost, but the kicker is the fact that the storm water sewer is located north of the site under Crichton Street, the sanitary sewer and portable water supply is located to the east under Dufferin Road, and the electrical supply comes into the site under River Lane to the south.  Three trenches through rock to a depth of up to 30′, and a sunken garden, equals: a $100,000 hole.

Regardless, I am committed to the plan.  Going through the Heritage-Variance-Consent process again is out of the question (see 3 years 2 months 26 days).  This train has left the station, or more accurately, the excavator has been floated in (i.e., a big yellow machine has been trailered to the site).  We are in the ground.  Construction is underway.

vertThe $100,000 hole