NCC extends Lebreton Flats development deadline
The “complexity” of redeveloping Lebreton Flats — which could include a new downtown arena for the Ottawa Senators — prompted the National Capital Commission to give a 45-day extension to four companies interested in building on the vacant federally owned land.
“This was a request of the proponents. It really flows from the complexity of the project,” NCC chief executive officer Mark Kristmanson told reporters after Tuesday’s board meeting.
The NCC changed the deadline to Dec. 15 for the four companies interested in building on Lebreton Flats to submit their proposals. The deadline was originally Oct. 31.
Two of the companies asked for more time, Kristmanson said.
“We think it’s really worth giving an extension of that time and we’ll see a substantially more detailed and improved submissions,” Kristmanson said.
He would not say which two of the four proponents had asked for the extension, he said.
“We’re in fairly close touch with them. We took their requests seriously.”
The NCC has had confidential meetings with the companies about their plans.
In 2014, the federal commission that manages government property in the capital region announced it was turning to the private sector for ideas to redevelop 9.3 acres west of the city’s downtown.
Each proposal was to include an anchor institution in addition to residential and commercial construction.
Four groups are competing for the right to redevelop the site.
The Ottawa Senators would like to build a new arena downtown, replacing the 20-year-old Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata.
Senators’ spokesman Brian Morris said the company wouldn’t comment on the NCC’s extension of its deadline or how it would affect the hockey team’s plans.
Ottawa-based Claridge Homes wants to build concert facilities along with residential and commercial properties.
Gatineau’s Devcore Group is working on a concept for “multiple cultural institutions.”
And Focus Equities from Victoria, B.C., wants to build the headquarters of “an international organization” on the site.
The NCC asked all four companies not to publicly discuss their ideas.
Extending the deadline won’t have much effect on the overall timeline for redeveloping the site, Kristmanson said.
The NCC had hoped to select a proponent before the end of Parliament’s session in June 2016. The delay might force the commission to wait until fall 2016 to get cabinet approval, he said.
“It’s still on a very good timeframe.”