Ottawa Construction News staff writer
The private sector organization working with the City of Ottawa at Lansdowne Park has proposed a $330 million second-stage development for the residential community and entertainment/event centre.
An Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) proposal released in April calls for tearing down and replacing the north side stands at TD Place Stadium. The plans also include a new arena, retail space, and three towers with owned, rental and affordable housing.
“We are proposing to demolish the existing functionally obsolete North Stadium stands and arena complex, and build a new, world-class Event Centre and North Stadium Stands,” OSEG says in its proposal.
“New retail podium and additional residential units are also included within the proposal. In line with the city’s Official Plan, the residential component will bring additional density to Lansdowne, while providing a significant part of the funding envelope for Lansdowne 2.0.”
The new arena would continue to be the home of the Ottawa 67’s hockey team and the Ottawa Blackjacks, and would seat 5,500 people.
There would be 1,200 new units in the residential towers. One would be a condominium, and two would have rental units, with 10 per cent overall designated as affordable.
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson indicated he supports the proposal.
“I think this is the natural progression of Lansdowne Park and its evolution,” Watson was quoted as saying by CTV Ottawa. “The objective we have is to continue the momentum we created about a decade ago by bringing some life back to Lansdowne.
“One of the areas where I think we need to do a better job is getting more people to live on-site, so that’s one of the reasons why I support more housing on the site, including affordable housing options.”
Watson says he believes the project can be handled in a revenue-neutral way, even though the site’s public infrastructure is the public’s responsibility.
The OSEG proposal suggests that incremental taxation and air rights fees, along with ticket fees and direct cash distributions to the city from the Lansdowne Partnership would fund the new municipal infrastructure “on a tax neutral basis” to city taxpayers.
“This is an iconic site; it’s Ottawa’s gathering place and it needs to stay that way,” the broadcaster quoted OSEG president and CEO Mark Goudie as saying.
“As we’ve done in other arrangements, we use the tax upload, air rights, ticket surcharge and so on to ensure it remains revenue-neutral for taxpayers but it gets built in a timely fashion.” Ottawa mayor Watson said.
Goudie says the cost of the project can be made back through the condos, games and ticket sales.
“We can generate all of that in these 20 acres at Lansdowne. I’m really happy and really proud that we are able to put something together that you know is not going to be on the backs of taxpayers,”
The OSEG proposal suggests the project could be completed in three stages.
- Event Centre: To begin Nov. 2022 and completed Sept. 2024
- North stadium stands, retail podium, parking: To begin Dec. 2024 and completed May 2027
- Residential towers: To begin in 2024 and completed in 2029
The aging north side stands and the Civic Centre were originally built in 1967. “This is the piece that didn’t get addressed back in 2014” when the original Lansdowne Park redevelopment was completed. “But its time has come.”
Ottawa City Council must review and approve the OSEG proposal before construction can start.