A Developer’s Social Responsibility

Real estate development, whether it’s office, multi residential, retail or industrial, far outlasts the developers who conceive, plan and ultimately build the project. With that in mind, a developer must carefully consider the location of planned development, including the short and long term effects on the community.

Here is a social responsibility checklist that should be considered when conceiving and planning a project of any size.

  1. Consult your community, community leaders and neighbourhood associations.
  2. Ask yourself how a project will benefit a community (e.g. green space, traffic lights etc.)
  3. Ensure your design fits with the area or enhances it in some way, shape or form. Your project should, at the very least, be mindful of the social fabric of its surroundings.
  4. Ensure your development will stand the test of time.

When conceiving Sakto’s Preston Square in Ottawa, I was very mindful of how I wanted to define our Preston Street office and retail building. The building materials used to construct the exterior envelope had to compliment the historic look and feel of its surroundings. Preston Street has historically been a mix low rise residential and commercial development. The thought of a tower dominating the street never crossed my mind. Hiding the density from the street was tantamount to the success of our almost one million square foot project.

Today, when you walk or drive past this building, you almost don’t notice the two major office towers located on Preston Street. It appears as a “mixed use” structure made of brick and stone with a busy ground floor retail and patio scene.