Ottawa council votes in favour of Lansdowne redevelopment
Published Tuesday, June 29, 2010 1:21PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 2:04AM EDT
After 13 hours of debate, Ottawa city council voted in favour of the Lansdowne redevelopment plan by a vote of 15-9.
"I've never been more proud of the city than I am tonight," said Mayor Larry O'Brien after the meeting.
"I'm excited for the citizens of Ottawa, you know, this is a wonderful project."
In favour: Shad Qadri, Maria McRae, Glenn Brooks, Marianne Wilkinson, Eli El-Chantiry, Steve Desroches, Jan Harder, Rob Jellett, Bob Monette, Gord Hunter, Peter Hume, Doug Thompson, Rainer Bloess, Rick Chiarelli, Larry O'Brien
Opposed to the plan: Christine Leadman, Georges Bedard, Michel Bellemare, Diane Deans, Jacques Legendre, Diane Holmes, Clive Doucet, Peggy Feltmate, Alex Cullen
The marathon debate involved nearly 50 motions to amend the plan, which will transform Lansdowne Park into a sports and entertainment hot spot, and bring CFL football back the capital.
The most significant motion on Monday was put forward by Coun. Alex Cullen, who wanted to defer the plan until January 2011, handing the project over to a new council. That motion was also defeated 15-9.
The plan, put forward by Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), would renovate Frank Clair Stadium, and build 350,000 square feet of commercial retail space at the site. It also includes 250 housing units, as well as developing an urban park on Lansdowne's front lawn.
The stadium itself will be rent-free to developers for 30 years. Taxpayers would contribute nearly $173 million to the project, while developers will pay $117 million.
Although council has plenty of information about plans to renovate the park, councillors won't see final details of the site plan until November, after the Oct. 25 municipal election.
Some tweaks to the plan include:
- giving the city a special rate to host its own events at the venue;
- the promise that a pro-football team will be signed to Ottawa within 90 days;
- preserving Sylvia Holden Park, located at the current site.
"It's obviously a long day, but very important step. I'm very excited for the residents of Ottawa and for council itself. I think it's a big step forward for a major project," said developer Roger Greenberg.
Still not everyone left the marathon council meeting satisfied: "We're disappointed, disappointed that there's a lost opportunity for city building, more disappointed too that a lot of our input in terms of impacts on business seem to fall on deaf ears," said Catherine Lindquist, president of the Glebe BIA.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua and files from Catherine Lathem