Senators owner wins right to develop downtown Ottawa site, cost still TBD

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has won his battle with a rival developer for the federally owned LeBreton Flats site, the National Capital Commission awarding him exclusive negotiating rights to develop the 21.6-hectare (that’s 53 acres — you double it and add 30, or something) downtown site. If talks go well, and the federal government approves, then Melnyk would build a whole buncha stuff on the site, including a new Senators hockey arena to replace their old one, which is 20 whole years old but also in the middle of nowhere because their old owner was crazy.

If you’re ready carefully, meanwhile, you noticed that that’s just the right to negotiate to develop the site — still up in the air is how the money would work out, including how much Melnyk would pay for the development rights and whether the project would require any public cash, as he’s previously indicated. (He’s since said there would be “no government money that is going to be granted,” but that doesn’t preclude tax breaks or a discounted price on the land.) This could end being a good deal for Ottawa — if you want to develop undeveloped land, you’re going to need a developer — or a lousy one, depending on how details like that go, and also details like the development timeline, which could stretch as long as 30 years. Win-win or land grab to get a site for a new arena? They still need to talk about it. Meanwhile, are there renderings with beams of light streaming into the night sky? You betcha!

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6 comments on “Senators owner wins right to develop downtown Ottawa site, cost still TBD

  1. While it’s a neat retro touch, I don’t think having a rock band, a circular rink, and only standing room is NHL regulation. And that’s a really expensive wall to put up behind it.

    From a NIMBY perspective all those people who purchased all those lovely condos in the area will adore the 50 nights a year of jammed traffic.

  2. Note to companies preparing renderings for new stadia: The San Diego Padres replaced the lighting at 10-year old PETCO park with an LED lighting system during the off-season. One reason given was light pollution reduction.

  3. I have to admit that a Beatles reunion at center ice, complete with the no-collar suits, would draw a lot of fans. I suspect it might even pay for the arena. But, I see a few problems with that, including that two of them are no longer alive.

    Shouldn’t the game be played inside the arena? If a band member is checked, is that a 5 minute major penalty?

    On a slightly more serious note, the Astros also installed LED lighting this off season. It has already cost them a win when George Springer lost a fly ball in the new LED llighting. Just because something is new doesn’t make it better – particularly when it isn’t used properly or in this case aimed properly. Multiple games had balls lost in the new lights. But, the Astros saved money on electricity.

  4. The Astros used to lose the ball in the dome skylight all the time, until they painted it over and killed all the grass and had to get Monsanto to invent Astroturf.

    It’s not a bug, it’s a throwback feature, is what I’m saying.

    • :) The Astrodome was one of the worst places to watch a baseball game but occasionally I almost miss it. Unfortunately it’s just sitting and decaying now.

      The Astros winning percentage this year is a throwback to the 2013 team.

      Actually I’d just like to throwback the current ownership.

  5. Someone should ask Melnyk if the new arena will be obsolete before the whole area is developed. If they are talking 30 years for full development, I can just imagine him asking for money to improve the new/old arena around that time…

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