RendezVous LeBreton partners agree to mediation ahead of NCC deadline

The partners in the dispute over the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats have agreed to go to mediation in the hope of reconciling their differences, ahead of a deadline imposed by the National Capital Commission, which would officially end the deal.

In a press release, project manager Graham Bird says Capital Sports Management Inc. (CSMI), Trinity Development, and GBA Development and Project Management have agreed to the early mediation before the Jan. 19 deadline the NCC set for the partners to resolve their internal differences.

“IllumiNation LeBreton is too important to fail and is worth salvaging,” Bird said. “We are hopeful that the parties can take this opportunity to keep the project moving forward.”

The NCC said in December it was moving to “terminate the preferred proponent term sheet” with RendezVous LeBreton, effective Jan. 19, 2019.

That announcement came just weeks after Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk filed a $700 million lawsuit against Trinity Development and GBA, citing an alleged conflict of interest involving a nearby condo development.

Trinity filed a $1 billion counterclaim against Melnyk.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Bird says in his press release Friday GBA Development and Project management refutes the allegations in CSMI’s lawsuit, and a statement of defence has been filed in Ontario Superior Court.

“GBA worked diligently, and in good faith, for over five years to ensure the world’s best would come forth and make the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats a reality, as a truly collaborative partnership,” said Bird. “We believe that dream still lives on in the minds and the will of these partners, and that there is a way forward, a collective solution, through our challenges.”

The project included a downtown NHL arena, housing and businesses.

Bird says former Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler will lead the mediation.