Lansdowne plans on brink of approval as city council finance committee signs off

on .

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — If city council takes a final vote to redevelop Lansdowne Park on Oct. 10, major construction will start less than a week later, councillors heard Tuesday morning.

To meet the aggressive schedule for having Frank Clair Stadium ready to host CFL football by summer 2014, the city intends to sign a contract with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group on Oct. 12 and to get work started on the stadium by Oct. 15, city manager Kent Kirkpatrick said at a meeting of council's finance committee.

The committee — chaired by Mayor Jim Watson and including the heads of council's other major committees — took its final vote on the project, approving the plans 10-1 with only Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans dissenting.

City council is to take the truly final vote, instructing Kirkpatrick to sign the necessary contracts with OSEG, next Wednesday.

More Lansdowne retail tenants named

on .

Ottawa Business Journal

At least four restaurants will be a part of a redeveloped Lansdowne Park, one of the private sector developers behind the project said Tuesday.

Speaking at a city committee meeting, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group partner Roger Greenberg named Local, Joey, South Street Burgers and Toronto-based Il Fornello as committed tenants.

They join previously announced retailers Sporting Life, Whole Foods, Empire Theatres and the LCBO.

Combined, those companies will occupy 45 per cent of the 360,000 square feet of retail space proposed for the redeveloped Lansdowne Park.

The city's finance and economic development committee is being asked to vote on a city staff recommendation to commit to the Lansdowne redevelopment plan. City council will vote on Oct. 10.

Mr. Greenberg said all eight tenants constitute "unique" uses of the urban park, and said it was difficult for OSEG to disclose the names of all committed tenants.

"Some retail tenants will not allow their names to be released until they open. It is a competitive environment for them."

He added both the Glebe Business Improvement Area and retail consultant J.C. Williams urged OSEG to hold off on leasing more than 75 to 80 per cent of the retail space to provide a greater opportunity for small and independent shops to have a "significant" presence at Lansdowne Park.

He said those firms typically do not have the resources to commit to a project much more than six to nine months in advance of the space being ready.

Following Mr. Greenberg's presentation, city councillors heard from BOMA Ottawa's Pierre Azzi and the Ottawa Construction Association's John Devries, both of whom expressed support for the project. John Herbert, the executive director of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders' Association, also encouraged councillors to vote in favour of the plan.

Final Lansdowne details discussed at city committee

on .

Status report to councillors should provide clearest picture of agreement with OSEG

CBC News

Details of the final agreement of the Lansdowne partnership between the city and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group are being discussed Tuesday morning with the city's finance and economic development committee.

Ottawa city staff submitted their final report on legal agreements and provided a status update Tuesday morning to councillors at the city's finance and economic development committee.

City staff are recommending council give final approvals in the coming weeks to the $300 million deal to renovate Lansdowne Park.

Many details of the final report were made public last week when documents were posted in advance of Tuesday's meeting.

The overall cost of the project has increased by id="mce_marker"2 million, mainly because of extra costs for the underground parking garage and the stadium.

Twenty-five per cent of the available space has been leased with signed agreements. Including leases on the verge of being signed, city staff said the figure goes up to 73 per cent.

Major redevelopment construction elements should be completed on schedule in the summer of 2014, with all the work finished by 2015, the report said.

Lansdowne Partnership Plan (presentation to FEDCO, Oct. 2, 2012)

Sporting Life 'fashletics' store to open at Lansdowne, OSEG says

on .

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — A large Toronto-based sporting-goods and clothing store is one of the tenants ready to open at Lansdowne Park, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group announced on Monday, on the eve of a major city council vote on the future of the redevelopment project there.

Sporting Life, a small Canadian chain with three stores in Toronto and one in Collingwood, plans a 43,000-square-foot store at the southeast corner of Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue, said a news release. The store “will offer shoppers the chance to browse through high-end clothing, footwear and athletic gear. From clothing like Moncler, Barbour, Canada Goose to equipment like bikes, skis, racquets and shoes for active or casual needs Sporting Life provides gear, fashion and equipment in its chic, top notch Sporting Life manner,” the release said.

City council’s powerful finance committee is to take its final vote on the Lansdowne plans Tuesday morning, making a recommendation to the full city council on whether the city should sign a deal with OSEG for a half-billion-dollar redevelopment of the crumbling old fairground in the Glebe. The partnership includes the renovation of Frank Clair Stadium for pro football and soccer, a new city-run urban park on the southeast quadrant of the site, and retail, commercial and residential development along the north and west edges of the site to pay for it all over a period of decades.

The plans have passed several city council votes already, though critics say it amounts to an improper privatization of a major public asset. OSEG has previously revealed only three of its planned tenants: an Empire Theatres Cinema, a Whole Foods grocery store and a high-end liquor store. The addition of Sporting Life reveals more about the plans but without settling very much about whether Lansdowne is to be, as was promised, a unique place in Ottawa with a unique shopping experience.

“We were promised that we would know everything that we needed to when it came back to council,” said the councillor for the area, David Chernushenko. “I think the best approach is to bring [the full list of likely tenants] and show it to us.”