Senators’ Melnyk gets early nod on plan for downtown arena

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk expresses his gratitude and excitement over being named the preferred proposal for redeveloping LeBreton, including the building of a new NHL arena.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has moved one step closer to developing a large patch of land in the national capital, not far from Parliament Hill, into a commercial centre that would include a new NHL arena.

The National Capital Commission has accepted a recommendation to negotiate with Melnyk’s RendezVous LeBreton proposal, instead of a bid by rival Devcore Canderel DLS Group to develop the 21.6 hectare site in Ottawa’s core.

Both proposals included a new arena, library and significant residential, commercial and retail space.

But Devcor’s plan also proposed a number of attractions including an aquarium, a planetarium and museums.

RendezVous LeBreton was centred on the arena to bring the Senators to the downtown, away from their current location in the west Ottawa suburb of Kanata, along with a heritage aqueduct and a number of parks and open spaces.

Once the NCC board votes to accept the highest-ranked proposal, negotiations could begin to secure a development agreement, which requires approval from the federal cabinet.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.