Stadium contest may live

SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

The proposal to renovate Frank Clair Stadium for a CFL franchise does not spell the end for an international design competition for Lansdowne Park, city manager Kent Kirkpatrick said yesterday.

If council rejects the proposal outright, the city could obviously reopen the competition, which was suspended when a group of local businessman came forward last October with their $120-million vision they call Lansdowne Live.

But the city could also accept part of Lansdowne Live and open the rest -- the back half along the Rideau Canal -- to a design competition.

"Clearly council's priority is what do we do with Lansdowne Park in its redevelopment," Kirkpatrick said during a council meeting yesterday.

"Is it just for the back half of it, which would be the case if you went forward with the Lansdowne Live proposal, or for the entire thing, if you said no to Lansdowne Live?"

Lansdowne Live provides a concept for all 37 acres of Lansdowne Park, which would include community soccer pitches, a world-class aquarium, a reflecting pond, formal gardens and much more.

Kevin McCrann, president of the Shenkman Group and one of the proponents of Lansdowne Live, said the proposal deals primarily with Frank Clair Stadium and the nine acres beside it along Bank St., which would be developed for a hotel and other commercial space.

JUST A CONCEPT

The rest, including the aquarium, which would be located in the Aberdeen Pavilian is just conceptual, and McCrann said he would be okay with it going to a design competition. He might even enter.

"Any winning concept, I would think, would have to be civic-use type of area," he said.

Coun. Clive Doucet, whose ward includes Lansdowne, welcomes the reopening of the design competition, but not if it includes what he calls the commercialization of the city's most precious piece of real estate.

"They just want enough land for a shopping centre, and from this deal the city can subsidize a 10-game football season for the shopping centre owners," Doucet said.

"This is not how any city that respects itself decides what the future will be for a 150-year-old park, next to a world heritage site in the heart of the city."

SHANE.ROSS@SUNMEDIA.CA


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