Winnipeg’s tallest tower will soon be located near our city’s most iconic intersection.
Construction set to begin on a 40 storey apartment high-rise on an existing pad above Winnipeg Square at the southwest corner of Portage Ave and Main St.
Artis REIT president and CEO Armin Martens made the announcement at news conference Thursday.
“We think the demand is there, we think the city is ready” Martens told 680 CJOB.
“There’s a lot of dated rental product in Winnipeg right now and hardly any new product on the market. We think there is an increase in demand for people to live and work downtown.”
The $140-million dollar development is expected to be completed by 2019. It’s expected to include about 400 rental apartments and commercial space.
Martens added this could pave the way to finally get a grocery store in the downtown core.
“We’ve got plans for it, for sure,” he confirmed.
“I’m looking forward to seeing one, possibly two on the Graham Avenue corridor and if we get one done at the True North Square site for example, I think there is room for one at Main and Graham.”
Along with the tower, Artis will also spend $25 million on its existing office next door at 360 Main Street. The work will include a complete renewal of the exterior.
“They see that Winnipeg is going forward and they’re willing to put their money both in the recladding of their existing building and the 40-storey apartment/commercial building; it’s a huge catalyst for downtown,” said River Heights-Fort Garry city councilor John Orlikow, who is chair of the Downtown Development Committee at City Hall.
A new tower at Portage and Main will not only draw hundreds of residents downtown, but the Winnipeg Construction Association says it will also create hundreds of new jobs.
The WCA estimates, on average, 350 construction workers will be employed full-time during the two year build.
“This is a major project for downtown, and for the local construction industry,” said Ron Hambley, President of the WCA.
“Our industry has experienced consistent growth over the last decade, and projects like this, the development of True North Square, and government investment in new infrastructure ensure we’ll continue to be one of the driving forces in the city’s economy.”