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NCC gets five proposals to develop LeBreton Flats

"The National Capital Commission has received five proposals for the development of LeBreton Flats, by far the largest and most significant development site in Ottawa’s core.

The number of proposals received by Wednesday’s deadline was surprisingly modest. The NCC raised expectations when it extended the original deadline for submissions by one month due to “greater expression of interest than expected.”

The NCC, whose officials weren’t talking Wednesday, revealed the number in a news release, but declined to provide any details about the proposals or identify the proponents.

In the news release, NCC chief executive Mark Kristmanson said the agency was “encouraged” by the “strong interest” in the LeBreton Flats development.

Last September, the NCC invited the private sector to submit proposals to develop a 9.3-hectare section of the Flats. Another 12.1-hectare parcel farther west could potentially be made available, as well.

The NCC wants the development to include a “signature attraction” of regional, national or international significance. Just before Christmas, the group that operates the Ottawa Senators confirmed that it planned to submit a proposal that would include a new downtown arena.

A committee, composed of three NCC executive staff members, architect A.J. Diamond and Mark Conway, a planner and land economist, will evaluate the five submissions for completeness and compliance with the evaluation criteria.

The NCC said the solicitation process is intended to pre-qualify two to five proponents, whose names will be revealed in March following ratification by the NCC board.

The pre-qualified proponents will then have until August 2015 to submit detailed design and financial proposals, which will be displayed publicly to get feedback.

The current timetable calls for the recommended proposal to go to the NCC’s board for approval in November, with cabinet sign-off in early 2016."

Source: Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen. January 7, 2015.