SoHo's Ottawa extended stay residences

OTTAWA, ON—With one successful luxury long-term-stay property under its belt in Toronto, SoHo Metropolitan Hotel has launched residences in downtown Ottawa targeting the upscale extended-stay market.

Located on the top two floors of the SoHo Lisgar Condominiums, a 12-storey building in downtown Ottawa, SoHo Metropolitan Residences Ottawa features 25 luxury suites with boutique-hotel amenities. The rest of the building houses 169 condominium units.

The extended-stay suites have floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows and spa-inspired bathrooms offering rain shower heads and Aveda amenities. Gluckstein-designed kitchens feature quartz countertops, glass-tiled backsplashes, European appliances and concealed fridges. They are also equipped with WiFi and Samsung LED 3D smart televisions.

The Ottawa property also offers SoHo Water Gardens, which has a trellised exterior, outdoor designer kitchens and barbecues; a hot tub and lap pool; private movie screening room; and a gym designed and managed by two-time heavyweight champion Dalton Brown.

SoHo Metropolitan Residences Toronto, features 53 luxury suites, and extended-stay guests enjoy the amenities of the attached 92-room SoHo Met Hotel. These include concierge service, car-rental office and onsite dining at Luckee, the contemporary Chinese restaurant launched April 4 by superstar chef Susur Lee (see below). In addition, the Toronto complex features 369 condominium units.

“Residents like the sense of belonging and treat [the extended-stay suites] much like an apartment — they act like locals,” David Kelley, general manager of SoHo Metropolitan Hotel and Residences, told CLN.

In Toronto, film and television producers, directors and cast members account for more than half of the extended-stay clientele, with residencies lasting as long as eight months, said Kelley. The rest of the Toronto client base are corporate customers doing project work lasting, typically, six months to one year, and short-term transitional clients (divorcees; those who’ve sold their home and are looking for a new one or those in town looking for a permanent home; people displaced by power outages) whose stays average one to three months.

The diverse client base, and the combination of luxurious suite appointment and onsite services and amenities, are driving the Toronto property’s success, said Kelley.

On the other hand, the Ottawa residences’ clientele consists of government employees, transitional and corporate residents and staff from the city’s embassies.

Going forward, SoHo Met will continue to target those demographic groups, as well as sitting members of Parliament, for the Ottawa property. Its positioning as a luxury, service-oriented residence is an advantage in nation’s capital, where multi-person extended-stay properties geared towards families and travelling sports teams are the norm, said Kelley.

He acknowledges, however, that cultivating an extended-stay client base takes time, since it’s a cyclical business dependent on unpredictable schedules. “It’s a market you need to build,” he said.

To that end, SoHo Met Residences is working to establish relationships with Ottawa restaurants and dry cleaners. Similarly, the Toronto extended-stay property has established a relationship with a nearby grocery store.

Recognizing a captive audience, the grocery retailer provides a complimentary litre of fruit juice in the refrigerators of newly arrived residents as a way to promote itself to this potential customer base, said Kelley.
As befits their exclusive, upscale status, the Toronto and Ottawa suites typically accommodate one to two people and consequently, in almost all cases, feature one bedroom outfitted with a king bed.

Looking ahead, Kelley said additional extended-stay properties are in the cards for Ottawa. One upcoming project includes SoHo Champagne, scheduled to open in summer, 2015, at Champagne and Hickory Streets and expected to include about 30 extended-stay suites and a condominium component whose size has yet to be determined. Another project, SoHo Italia, will be located on Preston Street, but details have not been finalized, said Kelley. SoHo Parkway, a condominium-only project housing over 100 units, opened two years ago.

The company would also consider Montreal for an extended-stay property and would consider that city and Ottawa for a hotel. In addition, “we’ve poked around in Calgary, where it’s a question of finding the right deal,” said Kelley.