NCC to unveil shortlist of potential contractors for LeBreton library lands in April

LeBreton pic
A portion of the NCC's new vision for LeBreton Flats. File photo

The National Capital Commission says it will reveal this spring which applicants meet its criteria to move on to stage two in its search for a contractor to redevelop a prime parcel of land at LeBreton Flats.

The Crown corporation said after its board meeting Thursday it expects to announce in April which candidates will be asked to submit full proposals for the property at 665 Albert St., near the future home of the Ottawa Public Library’s main branch. The project will mark the first stage of the NCC’s long-term plan to rebuild the 55-acre LeBreton Flats site. 

The upcoming announcement of the short-listed developers will follow a review of preliminary proposals from applicants, who have until Feb. 8 to submit their vision for the 2.5-acre plot of land. The process was delayed several months during the coronavirus pandemic.

Katie Paris, the NCC’s director of major real estate development, told members of the NCC’s board the tendering process is expected to run from May until November. If all goes according to schedule, construction could begin next year, Paris said.

The NCC’s master concept plan of its vision for the Flats is also scheduled to go before the board of directors for approval at the April meeting.

Millions in new tax revenue

The LeBreton project is expected to create more than 1,700 construction jobs and contribute $13.7 million a year in additional property taxes to the city.

The agency’s latest attempt to redevelop LeBreton Flats comes after the previous consortium that had been chosen to lead the project fell apart amid legal wrangling. 

The RendezVous LeBreton Group, a partnership led by Trinity Development Group and Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, collapsed in late 2018 after Melynk’s Capital Sports Management said it was suing Trinity and executive chairman John Ruddy for $700 million, citing conflicts of interest related to other Trinity projects near LeBreton Flats. Trinity later launched a $1-billion countersuit against Melnyk and Capital Sports Management.

Also Thursday, the NCC said it’s planning to build a new pedestrian and cycling path that will link the Capital Pathway that runs along the Ottawa River with the Pimisi LRT Station at the entrance to LeBreton Flats. A second link would extend west to Bayview Station and connect to the Trillium Pathway.

The agency will hold public consultations on the pathway design later this winter. Pending the board’s approval, construction of the pathway is expected to be completed by the end of this year.