Now the real fun begins

SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

Roger Greenberg and his partners overcame a major headache when, after an exhausting 13-month ordeal, they were finally granted the go-ahead to come up with a redevelopment plan for Lansdowne Park.

But they shouldn't put away the Advil yet.

There will be lots of give and take over the 60-day window -- which began yesterday -- between Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group and city staff.

The group, made up of Greenberg and three other local businessmen, proposes renovating Frank Clair Stadium and the Civic Centre with $97 million from the city. The 25,000-seat, multipurpose stadium would have a CFL team as the main tenant.

There are also plans for a world-class aquarium on the site and commercial development, which would be privately funded. Plans include a hotel, theatre and retail stores.

Greenberg said his group will continue to be flexible, but admitted a provision the city must agree on each tenant could be a sticking point. "Not sure how that would work," he said.

Any rezoning or Official Plan amendment would give opponents grounds to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.

"Given that our Official Plan calls for major facilities like this to be at a rapid transit station and have adequate parking, there will be ammunition for anyone thinking of appealing," said Bay Coun. Alex Cullen. "But we are not there yet."

Capital Coun. Clive Doucet, whose ward includes Lansdowne, is strongly opposed to the deal and will no doubt keep Greenberg's group in check.

"One thing my ward has plenty of is lawyers," Doucet said.

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STRICT RULES

Some of the parameters set forth by city council:

- A substantial portion of the existing hard space must be reserved and designed as public open spaces that are green and sustainable.

- Aberdeen Pavilion must remain in current location and plans must enhance sight lines to building from surrounding streets and Rideau Canal.

- Pedestrian and bicycle access to Rideau Canal must be improved.

- Accommodations for continuation of farmers' market.

- No housing units.

- No large format commercial.

- Commercial uses must support main uses on site and be compatible with neighbouring business districts.

- City must approve tenants, design and form of any buildings.


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