NCC gives RendezVous LeBreton partners until end of February to fix issues

LeBreton
A rendering of RendezVous LeBreton's proposal for the site west of downtown Ottawa.

The National Capital Commission is granting the feuding partners of RendezVous LeBreton another few weeks to work out their differences through mediation – a last-ditch effort to salvage to enormous redevelopment project.

The NCC – the Crown corporation that owns the vacant land known as LeBreton Flats west of Ottawa’s downtown core – announced late Monday that it would give its preferred proponent to redevelop the site until Feb. 28 to sort out internal issues in the partnership.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk sued John Ruddy and the Trinity Development Group over an alleged conflict of interest related to the organization’s nearby 900 Albert St. mixed-use development project back in November and Ruddy sued right back; as a result, the NCC put into motion plans to terminate its agreement with the partners by the end of this week.

The extension was requested by former Ontario Supreme Court Justice Warren Winkler, who’s acting as a mediator between the two groups and Ottawa developer Graham Bird, RendezVous LeBreton’s project manager. Bird told OBJ earlier this month he was hopeful the groups could come together for the good of the proposed development, which would see the land brought to life with public spaces, residential units and a new downtown arena for the Senators.

“That's what I hope everybody will recognize, that we've got a wonderful, wonderful solution for … LeBreton Flats,” he said. “We’ve just got to find a moment to calm down and see if we can find a way through it.”

The NCC noted in its statement that while it respects the ongoing mediation process, it is prepared to bring forward “next steps” for LeBreton Flats at a future board meeting should reconciliation talks fall through.