By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun
The Lansdowne Park redevelopment is $12-million over budget because of legal delays and results of a construction tender, the city says.
New reports on the project published late Tuesday afternoon suggest an 18-month delay in the construction start date alone cost $8.2 million in inflationary increases.
Now, the city's total capital responsibility for the stadium, urban park, residential and office components, the new trade show facility at the airport and social housing policy is projected to be $218.7 million.
Debt will pay for more than 70% of the bill.
The cost increases are pinned to the stadium ($3.3 million extra), parking garage ($5.6 million) and servicing for the office, residential and public areas ( $3.1 million).
The urban park, which was subject to a design competition, is on budget and on schedule.
Staff have also negotiated a plan to insulate taxpayers against cost overruns to the stadium, arena and parking garage. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group will pick up the extra costs, but it will be considered additional equity. Payments to OSEG under the revenue-sharing scheme would be accelerated, one report says.
The construction timelines have not changed, the city says. Stadium events can begin in summer 2014.
On the sports side, OSEG will be required to operate a CFL team for at least eight years, three more than originally negotiated with the city. In return, OSEG will receive flexibility from the city to sell the football team or the Ottawa 67s hockey club.
In terms of naming rights, the city will be able to retain the rights for the urban park facilities, while OSEG gets control over the name of the stadium and retail components.
The city is happy with how OSEG's retail leasing is coming along.
According to a new report dated Aug. 30, 73% of the retail space is leased or in final negotiations with "strong tenants." The city's retail consultant calls it a "good position to be in" at this point in the game.
There are no retail names offered, but Whole Foods, LCBO and Empire Cinemas are already slotted.
In other new developments on the Lansdowne file, staff are recommending against striking a municipal services corporation to oversee the property when construction is done.
At Frank Clair Stadium, the scoreboard will be moved to the west side of the field and there are "minor" changes to the striking wooden veil behind the south-side stands.
If council gives the final sign off, the official legal close of the agreement will happen around Oct. 15.
The finance and economic development committee will first vet the agreements next Tuesday.