The City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee today approved in principle a business plan and funding strategy to redevelop Lansdowne with a new event centre, and to replace the Civic Centre with new north side stands, residential units – including affordable housing – and new retail spaces.
The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) has proposed a concept plan for a state-of-the-art, 5,500-seat event centre to help bring more concerts and cultural events to Ottawa. The event centre would be built east of the football field and west of the Great Lawn.
To better support outdoor events, OSEG also proposes to remove the aging north side stands, replacing them with facilities that would be fully compliant with current accessibility standards. The Civic Centre arena and existing retail space would be replaced with a two-storey retail building that could eventually be expanded with up to 1,200 new residential units, including 120 affordable ones, directly above it.
The total capital cost for the project is estimated at $332.6 million, but there would be no additional costs to taxpayers. Redevelopment would be funded through the sale of air rights and debt funding, along with some City capital budget funding for internal costs. Annual debt servicing would be funded by the property tax uplift, ticket surcharge revenues from Lansdowne games and events, and any revenue from Lansdowne operations.
The new financial model simplifies the waterfall arrangement and improves the City’s financial position, getting paid earlier in the term of the agreement and sharing net positive returns and risks with OSEG more equally.
If Council approves, staff would prepare a follow-up report detailing costs, legal amendments, public consultation feedback and a request to endorse an implementation plan.
Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 25.
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