NCC and RendezVous Reach Agreement in LeBreton Flats Redevelopment
After much waiting and speculation, plans to move forward on the redevelopment of Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats were made today in what some are calling a milestone announcement for Canada’s Capital. Both The National Capital Commission (NCC) and RendezVous LeBreton Group stated they have reached an agreement in principle on how to proceed with the land.
“I commend both negotiation teams for their commitment to reaching this milestone,” said NCC CEO Dr. Mark Kristmanson earlier today. “While much work remains to be done, I believe the terms and conditions forming this agreement in principle achieve best value for Canadians. In advancing this historic project, the goal is to integrate a dynamic new neighbourhood that reflects the national prominence of the site in the heart of our capital.”
The competitive process to build on the Flats began in 2014 with the NCC launching a two-stage solicitation process in order to attract proposals. In the weeks leading to the revelation that RendezVous was selected as the highest-ranked proponent, 7,939 Canadian sent in comments and thoughts on the development with more than 3,000 attending two weeks of open houses and public consultations either in person or by way of a live broadcast.
Today’s agreement between both groups may not be the final step but it is a significant one in establishing the principals that will ultimately inform the final plans set to be negotiated over the next 12 to 18 months. Once approved, the NCC is set to retain ownership of four acres of future green space along Wellington with RendezVous netting the remaining 49 acres.
“On behalf of the RendezVous LeBreton team, I extend my thanks to the Board, Dr. Kristmanson, and the staff of the NCC for their leadership in negotiating an agreement that will clean up a contaminated site on the banks of the Ottawa River and transform LeBreton Flats into a vibrant, accessible and sustainable community,” said John Ruddy of Trinity Development Group. “I love this City and have been a lifelong resident. I look forward to our partnership with the NCC, the City of Ottawa and the residents of the region to restore this historic part of the nation’s capital to a brand new beginning.”
Many of the city’s hockey fans were elated when the Ottawa Senators-backed RendezVous LeBreton Group came out as the winning bid in April of 2016. If things go according to plans, the development could see the team playing in a new downtown arena which would cut down on commute times to the Canadian Tire Centre’s Kanata location.
“I am thrilled to be one step closer to bringing Ottawa Senators fans a more enjoyable fan experience. Though there are still many hurdles to overcome, today we have moved closer to realizing a vision for LeBreton Flats – creating a place of pride for Ottawa residents, the Ottawa Senators hockey team, and visitors to the national capital region,” said Sens owner Eugene Melnyk.
Along with the arena, other plans in the proposal look to bring some expanded public spaces, 4,000 housing units and a French-language public school.
Throughout the coming year, the NCC and RendezVous will develop detailed terms for a master development agreement, which will be presented to the NCC Board and, when approved, submitted to the federal government. Both note that they will continue to consult with the Algonquin Nation on the project.
“LeBreton Flats has the potential to become a new centre of economic and cultural activity in the Capital, said NCC Chair Marc Seaman. “The agreement in principle announced today represents a significant step toward realizing the most transformative project in the Capital in generations.”