Is Lansdowne Working?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by The Voter 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #757631 Reply


    A few days ago passing through Lansdowne I noticed retail vacancies, with the most striking being the closing of Aroma Espresso Bar, a chain with a proven business model in other locations in Ontario and abroad.

    It reminded me of this time last year when other retailers had pulled out and the CBC quoted Ottawa Sports and Entertainment as saying: “We’re delighted on how the retail is performing,” said Greenberg. He acknowledged that a few retailers have pulled out of Lansdowne, suggesting to councillors it was the businesses’ own fault.

    “Frankly, they just weren’t good retailers,” said Greenberg, adding new retail tenants will be announced soon to replace them.

    That was last July, there are still vacancies and key retail tenants like Aroma are not sticking around. What should the city do if Lansdowne doesn’t offer a sustainable business model for itself and its retailers?

    It’s a little worrying when we build shiny things like Lansdowne and the Shaw Centre when the demand for them isn’t really there.

    #757673 Reply

    Earle Rheaume

    While I can’t comment on whether Lansdowne is working or not, I don’t have enough information to make an educated decision.

    The Shaw Centre, formerly the Ottawa Congress Centre was a complete failure from its initial thought by city management. There was no genuine professional business plan, there weren’t enough hotels to accommodate all the proposed or estimated visitors and vendors and the management was ineffective and inefficient.

    It was signed, sealed and developed, even though critics (like me) provided research that proved large corporations like Xerox, IBM and others were staying away from this market as it didn’t work, and were not profitable at that time.

    #757665 Reply

    Ron Benn

    Lansdowne, as it was envisioned and sole-sourced, was a high-risk, high-reward opportunity.

    The high risk lay with the city, notably its share of the waterfall-tricklefall. The high reward lay with the OSEG partners. As it turns out, with tepid retail lease performance and underwhelming commercial space uptake, even the OSEG partners are disappointed.

    Is it possible that the limited parking and inadequate mass (and certainly not rapid) transit services are failing to meet the needs of either the retail shopper or the commercial space tenant? Is it possible that Ottawa’s planning department’s vision (and I use that term loosely) of a society that does not use motor vehicles to get to and from shopping districts or places of employment is inconsistent with the wants and needs of the residents of Ottawa – again?

    #757652 Reply

    Robert Roberts

    There was no demand for Lansdowne as it is currently configured. A large number of people in the community and surrounding communities were against it. It appears that the mayor and developers agreed to Lansdowne as it currently stands.

    #757645 Reply


    Aroma is closing? Now I have no reason to visit Lansdowne.

    #757689 Reply

    Ken Gray

    Good topic K.A.

    To Ron: It’s hard to take home a sofa on a bike.



    #757712 Reply

    The Voter

    The unfortunate thing with Lansdowne is there’s no going back. We’re pretty well stuck with the current form for the foreseeable future. Maybe the shopping mall will morph into something else but that could be worse than what’s there now. Unlikely that the wrecking ball’s headed that way any time soon.
    You can be sure, though, that if OSEG is that dismissive of the business failures and turnover, they aren’t the ones suffering the consequences. We know who had the smart lawyers and negotiators in that deal and it wasn’t Watson and company.


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