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

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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.”

Pomerleau poised to land massive Lansdowne construction contracts

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Courtney Symons, Ottawa Business Journal

Contracts worth approximately $136 million are being drawn up between the consortium redeveloping Lansdowne Park and general contractor Pomerleau to rebuild the park's stadium and construct a parking garage.

Pomerleau was selected from a pool of three pre-qualified bidders including PCL Constructors and EllisDon.

The local company will be paid $74.9 million for the construction of the stadium, according to a report submitted by deputy city manager Nancy Schepers that will be put to the city's finance and economic development committee on Oct. 2.

Additionally, a guaranteed maximum price contract for $61 million will be awarded to Pomerleau to build a one-level underground parking garage with 1,370 parking spaces. The city will pay $43 million of this cost.

That means the contract will be worth around $135.9 million.

A representative from Pomerleau said that the contract has not been finalized, and the company deferred media requests to the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which is funding the project alongside the city.

OSEG and the City of Ottawa were not immediately available for comment or to confirm the total value of the Pomerleau contract.

The estimated cost of the stadium, parking garage and site-servicing work was estimated at $129.3 million in a city release this May.

It makes up the lion's share of the city's total capital cost which also includes costs associated with residential and office air rights, site management and other soft costs, for a grand total of id="mce_marker"55.4 million.

But that value needs to be raised by $12 million, according to the deputy city manager's report. The $12 million increase, bringing the total cost to $167.4, will involve an additional $3.3 million for the stadium, $5.6 million for the parking garage and $3.1 million for site servicing.

In May, EllisDon was awarded a separate contract for preliminary work on the park, including the foundation for the relocation of the Horticulture Building, demolition of the Coliseum building, tree removal, as well as excavation and remediation of contaminated soils. That contract is worth $7.5 million according to city documents, and is expected to be completed by November.

A second contract, valued at $6.5 million, was awarded to CDS Building Movers to relocate the Horticulture Building, set it up for re-use, and relocate artwork and memorials from the site.

Minto reveals plans for Lansdowne office building

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By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The office building Minto Properties plans to build on Bank Street as part of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment will be the glassiest thing in the Glebe.

The city's temporary design-review panel for Lansdowne and the permanent panel of architects and designers who examine all big downtown construction projects have signed off on the plans, Minto chief executive Roger Greenberg said.

Greenberg is both the head of Minto and the lead partner in the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group. OSEG is working with the city on the major Lansdowne redevelopment plans — due for a final city council vote Oct. 10 — but the city sold the development rights for particular buildings separately. Minto was the sole bidder for the office building and is paying the city $3.5 million for the rights, plus a bonus after 10 years if it turns out to be especially profitable.

The building is to be seven storeys in all, though the first couple of floors are for retail stores and the topmost level is just a small utility room.

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Transportation still key concern in Lansdowne redevelopment

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By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

Metrics and forecasts can only go so far when preparing for the transportation crunch that will likely come with the new Lansdowne Park.

"When it opens you will see the real situation," council's transportation chairwoman Marianne Wilkinson said Thursday.

"You have to develop the best system based on the numbers you can expect to come."

She said the city will need to be nimble to adjust to unforeseen traffic issues.

One of the issues a special Lansdowne transportation advisory committee discussed Thursday was the local cycling network.

Wilkinson, the councillor for Kanata North ward, said there needs to be safe crossing for cyclists, especially on Queen Elizabeth Driveway. Even if it means painting the lines on the road, Wilkinson would like to see work begin next year before Lansdowne partially opens in summer 2014.

She was frank about a proposed $17.5-million pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Rideau Canal: There's no money in the budget right now.

Capital Coun David Chernushenko, who chairs the Lansdowne transportation group, doesn't have a lot of confidence that a traffic plan will sort out potential problems.

"They haven't been solved yet. We haven't come up with any magic answers," Chernushenko said this week. "Some of our solutions are just optimism at the moment."