The Rendez-Vous LeBreton Group is headed to mediation in an effort to settle their differences over plans for a development that includes a new NHL arena, according to CTV Ottawa.
Last month, the National Capital Commission said it was moving to terminate a development deal with the group – made up of Senators owner Eugene Melnyk's Capital Sports Management and Trinity Development – in the wake of bitter legal infighting within.
The NCC, the Crown corporation responsible for the redevelopment of the land at Ottawa's LeBreton Flats, signed a preferred proponent term sheet with Rendez-Vous LeBreton last January for the new development. But the plan ran into a significant hitch in November when the group told the NCC that unresolved internal issues in its partnership prevented it from moving forward with its proposal.
The situation deteriorated further when Melnyk sued Trinity chair John Ruddy for $700 million in late November. A statement of claim alleged "a number of breaches, all arising out of a conflict of interest, that directly resulted in the failure of the partnership."
It claimed Ruddy began developing an abutting property that put it "in direct competition with the LeBreton project."
Ruddy and Trinity then filed a counterclaim for $1 billion, calling Melnyk's lawsuit "meritless" and adding that "the claim against John Ruddy is especially scandalous."
The NCC said the termination would come into effect 30 days from the initial notice and that it would proceed with the next steps in the redevelopment process at its next public board meeting later this month.
"It is with regret that we take note of the NCC's decision to terminate the process under which we were pursuing the historic redevelopment of LeBreton Flats," the Senators said in a statement last month. "For over a year, we have tried to resolve our concerns about the flaws in the economic model for the redevelopment, both within the context of our private negotiations with the NCC and then publicly since November 22, 2018.
"After the NCC decided to extend its final decision until January, 2019, we formally requested that the Crown corporation meet with the parties in an effort to determine how best to mediate a resolution to these challenges. To our dismay, the NCC rejected both requests."
- Written with files from The Canadian Press