An ambitious redesign of Lansdowne Park unveiled Thursday has some residents and at least one city councillor concerned about whether the development will create too much traffic in the neighbourhood.
Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group's plan features a revamped Frank Clair Stadium, about 350,000 square feet of stores, restaurants and bars bookended by two residential highrises.
Resident Louise Gilmer said she has concerns about how people are going to get to and from the redesigned space.
"We don't need all of this retail here, it's in the wrong spot, [and] we don't need a stadium at Lansdowne Park that no one is going to be able to get to because there is no transit there," said Gilmer.
Councillor Alex Cullen said the parking plan of the redesign is based on 1,385 parking spots. He said this is far short of what city guidelines would normally suggest for the commercial and residential spaces.
He said the retail plan alone would normally call for 3,000 spots, while the addition of the arena, stadium and cinema would push it over 10,000 spots.
Site 'overloaded': Cullen
"There are lots of very nice drawings but it's a very overloaded site," said Cullen on Ottawa Morning.
"[Making Lansdowne a] destination point is not helpful if you can't get there and if you can't park there."
Coun. Rick Chiarelli said he thought the unveiled plans were "absolutely fantastic" and said concerns over parking are overblown, as Lansdowne has long been a destination for sports fans and concert-goers.
"We already know how the crowds are going to get there and how they are going to leave there," said Chiarelli.
"A couple of years ago we hosted the Rolling Stones at the stadium with over 60,000 people at the stadium," said Chiarelli, adding that the concert occurred while the SuperEx summer fair was running.
"People got in and got out and it was fine," said Chiarelli.
The plans have also drawn criticism from residents on Holmwood Avenue, who expressed concern about the height of buildings at the north end of the development.
The new plans also call for the relocation of the Horticulture Building to a "prominent and historically significant location on the east side" of the Aberdeen Pavilion within Lansdowne's new urban park.
The Ontario Heritage Trust has already said it opposes moving the building and would seek heritage protection for the structure in an effort to keep it where it is.
But Mayor Larry O'Brien gave the plans a glowing review, and both Chiarelli and Roger Greenberg of OSEG said many residents who came to the unveiling Thursday were effusive in their praise.
Residents will be able to provide their comments on the proposed designs from June 1 to 13. The public is also being invited to provide feedback on separate plans for the green space in the southeast part of the park, which were unveiled last week.
City council is expected to make a final decision on the entire redesign of Lansdowne Park in late June.[GALLERY id=3472 cat=canada]