Lansdowne Park 'will do better' next year, OSEG CEO says
1st financial report on Lansdowne not due until December
It's been more than a year since the first shops and businesses started opening at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park — and now 95 per cent of those retail spaces are filled, according to the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.
But David Chernushenko, the councillor for the area, told CBC News it's still too early to tell whether the $200-million spent to redevelop Lansdowne Park was a success as the first financial report is not due until December.
The City of Ottawa is expected to get the money it invested back over the next 40 years but it could be more than a decade before it starts to come in, Chernushenko said.
"It was a very optimistic [goal] — that everything had to go right. All the retail space had to be rented and those retailers had to make a good profit," he said. "Teams had to do well, you know, seats filled."
Construction almost done
Milestones was one of the first businesses to open at Lansdowne Park last fall. Tom Christie, the restaurant's general manager, said it's been a rocky start to draw customers in.
"It hasn't been everything that we expected it to be, for sure, but at the same time, Ottawa is taking a long time to come around to the area," he said. "We were expecting a lot more foot traffic. Like more of a mall feel."
OSEG said that 1.5 million people have visited Lansdowne so far this year and that traffic is expected to increase as construction wraps up and residents move into the site's 20-storey condo building.
OSEG CEO Bernie Ashe said he hopes the site's office tower will be fully leased by the end of next year.
"I think next year everyone will do better when the office tower is full and the condo towers are full and all the event load continues to grow," he said.
He added that playoff games involving both the Ottawa Redblacks and Ottawa Fury are expected to draw large crowds this fall.