Ruddy, Trinity Development countersue Melnyk, CSMI for $1B over LeBreton collapse

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Trinity Development Group executive chairman John Ruddy. File photo.

The unravelling of the RendezVous LeBreton partnership continued Tuesday as Trinity Development Group executive chairman John Ruddy announced he’s countersuing Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk over the stalled redevelopment project.

In a statement of counterclaim filed in Ontario Superior Court on Tuesday morning, Ruddy launched a countersuit claiming $1 billion in damages against Melnyk and Capital Sports Management, which last month filed a $700-million lawsuit of its own against Trinity and its associates over an alleged conflict of interest surrounding the parties’ joint redevelopment of LeBreton Flats.

Melnyk’s lawsuit claimed that Trinity’s project at 900 Albert St., which will see three apartment towers of up to 65 storeys built across from LeBreton Flats, reflected a conflict of interest in the residential side of the joint project.

The Senators owner’s filing represented a significant setback in the attempts to develop the National Capital Commission-owned land. RendezVous LeBreton, which was selected as the preferred proponent to develop the property, included a new downtown arena for the Sens in its plans.

The week before Melnyk’s suit, the NCC told Trinity and CSMI to resolve their internal issues by January or lose the chance at the project. In a statement released Tuesday, Ruddy reaffirmed his denial of Melnyk’s claims and said he is still “committed to moving this project forward.

“The vision we've brought forward is the right one,” he said. “I will work with the NCC, the City of Ottawa and the community at large to advance solutions that will make this project a reality, and avoid losing these important lands for another generation.”

The runner-up in the initial bid process to redevelop LeBreton, DevCore Canderel DLS, came forward earlier this month to say it would be willing to take over negotiations with the NCC as the principal developer for the project.