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Council overwhelmingly OK’s crucial step for Lansdowne 2.0

City councillors have voted to approve a pivotal step for the Lansdowne 2.0 project on Tuesday.

The city’s finance committee voted 10-2 to move forward with approving the procurement delivery model of the $419 million project, which will determine the design and construction of a new 5,500-seat event centre and new north-side stands at TD Place stadium.

Councillors Shawn Menard and Rawlson King voted against the proposal.

The matter will now need to be approved by city council.

City staff asked that the committee approve an additional $4 million to prepare design drawings for both the north-side stands and the event centre as well as provide for outside assistance from experts to assess delivery model options.

In addition, the city sought a $20 million line of credit to fund cashflow requirements through the end of the Lansdowne 2.0 project.

“Selecting an appropriate delivery model is critically important to achieve project objectives, including cost predictability and construction staging,” a report to the finance committee said.

Staff is getting advice from consulting firm KPMG to help the city with the delivery model.

KPMG considered a number of models, but opted for a “design-bid build” model, which staff say the city has more experience with for other infrastructure projects. The firm considered eight types of delivery models for the project.

Council approved the Lansdowne 2.0 plan in November 2023, which the new event centre, north-side and two residential towers.

The price tag for the project $419.5 million. A report shows the cost of the new event centre will be $249.6 million, while the north side stands will cost $169.5 million.

The Lansdowne 2.0 project will be built in three phases, according to a report given to councillors when the project was approved last fall.

Construction of the new event centre will run from 2024 to 2027, while the new north side stands will be completed by mid-2029. The city says construction on the two residential towers will run from 2030 to 2034.

The project has received notable opposition from a number of local community groups, who have raised concerns over the project’s high price tag and uncertain benefits.

Some residents attended Tuesay’s meeting to express their view of the project.

“We don’t have to take the shortcut approach. We don’t have to skip competitive processes. We don’t have to skip expert advice. It’s not an emergency so we can take the time to get it right,” said June Creelman, a Glebe resident.

“It seems that we’re repeating the error of the LRT by putting a time pressure on a project and in this case, there is no Lansdowne emergency.”

The Glebe Community Association has appealed the zoning bylaws required for Lansdowne 2.0 to go forward to the Ontario Land Tribunal. A date for the hearing has not yet been determined.

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Josh Pringle and Austin Lee

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