Roger Greenberg will be among the first to admit that the Lansdowne Partnership plan isn’t perfect.
Still, it’s a lot better than any other option being proposed, said the chair and CEO of the Minto Group and chief proponent for the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.
“We’ll tweak it to make it better,” said Greenberg. “But don’t throw the whole thing out and say we’ll start from scratch all over again, which is what will happen if our plan is rejected. Then we’re out. We’re gone.”
Greenberg said since the details of the plan were revealed on Sept. 2, the city has asked the group to recommend an alternative plan — including reducing the retail space and making Aberdeen Pavillion and the Horticulture Building part of what’s called the front lawn — that would address some public concerns.
Greenberg said that would open half the park up to whatever the city wants to do with it, even a design competition. The stadium, retail buildings and other smaller projects would occupy the rest of the park.
Capital Ward Coun. Clive Doucet called the alternative plan another attempt to convince the city to just give away the park, which is the wrong thing to do.
Doucet insisted best way to decide the future of the park is to have an international design competition for the whole park. By moving forward with the Lansdowne Partnership Plan, city council will earn a worldwide reputation as the city that gave away its biggest and best central piece of land.
In the last couple of months, public opinion has been growing in opposition to the plan, but Doucet said he’s unsure how that will manifest itself around the council table.
He said some councillors, especially in rural wards, may not have heard from many residents opposed to the plan.
A new poll conducted by COMPAS for Friends of Lansdowne found that 77 per cent of Ottawa residents want the proposal rejected or postponed.
“If we go ahead with this, we are so clearly not reflecting what the people of Ottawa want,” said Doucet.
To see the results of the Friends of Lansdowne poll, click here.