Drugstore, banks named as Lansdowne tenants

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By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — A chain drugstore and two big banks have been added to the roster of tenants at the renovated Lansdowne Park, according to the development company handling the retail leasing there.

Rexall, TD-Canada Trust and BMO are now listed on the website of Trinity Developments, whose president John Ruddy is a partner in the private group working with the city government to redevelop the dilapidated fairground in the Glebe. They join marquee tenants like Whole Foods and Empire Cinemas, and second-tier ones like restaurants Joey, Jack Astor's and Il Fornello.

Rexall claims 40 stores in Ottawa already, though none in the Glebe or Old Ottawa South. The Glebe has a Scotiabank and a Royal Bank but no TD or BMO.

"What can I say? It would be an awful stretch to call them unique and distinctive," said Coun. David Chernushenko, who represents the area and has consistently voted against the roughly $400-million deal between the city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) to refurbish Frank Clair Stadium and the surrounding fairground. "It's what I feared would happen in the end.

"Now here council is in a place where you can't go back. ... I don't think anyone envisaged redeveloping Lansdowne so you could go make your weekly deposit at the bank machine, get a prescription filled and buy some toilet paper."

Just what kind of shopping destination Lansdowne would be has been a moving target. Critics of the plans have called the retail aspect — meant to provide a lot of the income that's supposed to pay for the project over several decades — little more than a shopping mall on public land. OSEG has promised a shopping experience unique in Ottawa, but has added that Lansdowne's shops will have to include less exciting things, too, that will fill in the gaps in the Glebe's established retail strip on Bank Street. People going to football games at the fixed-up stadium, for instance, need places to eat and they won't all be Michelin-starred bistros.

"I wouldn't call them unique," allowed Coun. Rainer Bloess, who's voted for the Lansdowne plans, about the newly announced tenants. "But that doesn't mean they're not appropriate. In order to make the experience whole, you need certain types of services and goods that might not be exactly 'unique'."

City council has given the final go-ahead for the redevelopment and construction crews have been working rapidly since early fall. The work is supposed to be finished by summer 2015.

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© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Search opens for Lansdowne 'urban park' builder

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By Neco Cockburn, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The city is starting to look for someone to build the large "urban park" planned for the eastern and southern parts of a redeveloped Lansdowne Park.

It seeks to qualify companies that "are most capable of undertaking the construction of the urban park proper and meeting the high-quality design intent of the landscape architect," according to tender documents published on Thursday.

The park is a major part of the plans for the redeveloped Glebe site, which is also to feature a renovated Frank Clair Stadium along with residential space, stores and restaurants.

The company that's eventually chosen will work with Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, the Vancouver-based firm that won a design competition for the park.

Park uses will range from recreation and leisure to community events and concerts, the listing states.

"The overall design of the park reflects this multi-faceted approach, and anticipates the various needs and requirements of the area depending on what the community and the city uses the space for, at any given time of the year."

The park's design team is led by Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and includes Stantec Engineering (civil, mechanical and electrical consultants), Jill Anholt (public art consultant) and Julian Smith & Associates, Architects (Horticulture Building architect), the documents state.

The tender closing date is March 4.

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© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Bank Street northbound reduced to one lane at Lansdowne

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City of Ottawa

Bank Street will be reduced to one lane in the northbound direction between the Bank Street Bridge and Holmwood Avenue beginning Monday, November 19.

The closure is required to allow trucks to line up before entering the construction site at Lansdowne. The lane will be wide enough to allow vehicles and cyclists to travel side by side. Pedestrians should use the sidewalk on the west side of Bank Street. The closure does not affect on street parking and businesses will continue to be open as usual.

Bus stops located in the construction zone will be closed and OC Transpo customers should use the stops located outside of the lane closure.

For more information on the Lansdowne redevelopment, visit ottawa.ca/newlansdowne.


Lansdowne Park mural painting event cancelled

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CBC News

The city of Ottawa has cancelled an organized event to paint murals on the construction fencing around Lansdowne Park.

Glebe residents have been painting murals on the fencing near the development for weeks.

The city had approached them about holding an official "paint party" this weekend and had promised $3000 for supplies and said it would close Holmwood Avenue Saturday to help facilitate the event. Artists have been painting murals on the construction fencing around Lansdowne Park.Artists have been painting murals on the construction fencing around Lansdowne Park. (CBC)

But local artist and event organizer "Arthur II" said the city has now backed out on the funds and road closure.

"The people got all excited, to them I feel regret and disappointment that I put it out there, because in a way I feel like I dashed their hopes," he said.

A city spokesperson said the city couldn't schedule the event around construction activities at Lansdowne Park, but that it may look at another event in the spring.

Arthur II said he is worried many people might show up anyway.

"That would be irresponsible, there is no street closure, and I for one don't want to be liable for whatever might happen to someone crossing the street," he said.

Local councillor David Chernushenko said even though the city has changed it's mind on the weekend event, he thinks people should keep painting.

"It doesn't require a bureaucracy, it doesn't require a city-sanctioned street closure. It's happening. It's fantastic. And if we can provide safety through orange pylons and warning signs, I'd love to make that happen," he said.