Ottawa

Lansdowne numbers accurate: auditor

The financial assumptions behind the proposed redevelopment of Lansdowne Park are accurate, the City of Ottawa's auditor general said Thursday, clearing another potential hurdle for the $300-million plan.

The financial assumptions behind the proposed redevelopment of Lansdowne Park are correct, the City of Ottawa's auditor general said Thursday, clearing another potential hurdle for the $300-million plan.

"It is my opinion that the figures used in the financial projections are accurate," Alain Lalonde told city council.

Lalonde did identify a few areas of concern, saying the city should use a higher retail vacancy rate than two per cent in its calculations. He also suggested it would be more "prudent" for the city to use a higher interest rate to account for a predicted rise.

Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group's plans for Lansdowne include a refurbished Frank Clair Stadium, the addition of about 350,000 square feet of commercial retail space and residential space to accommodate about 250 units.

Councillors are expected to vote on both the OSEG proposal and the winning design of the adjacent urban park at the end of June.

The auditor general steered clear of making a judgment on the wisdom of the proposal itself.

"I was asked to look at the model," he said. "As far as if it is a good deal or not, it will be for council to decide."

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