A transportation consultant has given a thumbs-up to the plan to redevelop Lansdowne Park on Wednesday, saying the added retail and commercial space won't put too much strain on Ottawa traffic and the city's transit system.
McCormick Rankin Corporation's assessment, backed for the most part by a peer review, found that the plan had enough onsite parking space and that projected traffic volumes could be accommodated by the city's roads and transit system most of the time.
The assessment said, however, that Saturday and weekday peak hours could be challenging in some areas and that special events with more than 25,000 people attending would require extra transit and off-site parking accommodations.
Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group's proposal includes a refurbished Frank Clair Stadium, the addition of about 350,000 square feet of stores, restaurants and bars, and residential space - including two highrises - to accommodate about 250 units.
Ottawa city manager Kent Kirkpatrick on Wednesday also presented a peer review of several retail impact studies that was also favourable to the Lansdowne plan.
The review by Malone Given Parsons said an earlier positive assessment of OSEG's plan from J.C. Williams was "warranted and viable."
The city's design panel led by urban designer George Dark, which on Tuesday made its selection for Lansdowne Park's greenspace, also presented its findings on OSEG's plan and said it wanted more information about the mixed-use portion of the plan.
Dark and the panel said the highrises on Bank Street haven't been designed to what they call "landmark status."
"We've given them a lot of challenges, there's a lot of work left to do...but I wouldn't be here today if I didn't think the was something that Ottawa should take very seriously," said Dark.
'I'm very optimistic': O'Brien
Ottawa mayor Larry O'Brien said he was pleased with the results so far.
"We have now been presented with all of the information that we need to move forward. I'm very optimistic about it, but this is a process," said O'Brien.
But the councillor for the area, Clive Doucet, said Wednesday's studies amounted to nothing more than a series of rubber stamps.
"I've never see such a chorus...[it] sounded like frogs, you know on a hot summer day when you're down at the pond and they're all singing together," said Doucet. "But all these pretty pictures, they don't mean anything."
City councillors are expected to vote on both the urban park design and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group's proposal for the new stadium and commercial complex at the end of June.
The National Capital Commission and Parks Canada will also have to approve the final design for the urban park.