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New tower announced for Portage Avenue

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Longboat Development Corp. and Groupe Germain Hospitality of Quebec have announced plans to develop a 200,000-square-foot, 20-storey mixed use tower on Portage Avenue, across from the MTS Centre.

The $75 million development, which will occupy a large part of the block fronted by the former A&B Sound building, will house Groupe Germain’s first Manitoba property, an ALT Hotel, on the upper 12 storeys. Stantec will consolidate its offices in the city to become the anchor tenant, bringing more than 250 employees to the new Stantec Building when it opens in 2013.

Details of the project were announced this morning by CentreVenture Development Corp., which said it is the first private investment in several decades in this part of the city and will significantly contribute to revitalization efforts downtown.

The project will include restoration and reuse of the Mitchell-Copp building’s historic façade on Portage, which will become the main entrance to the office component.

The ALT Hotel will provide 154 rooms in the tower, while the main floor will be retail and restaurant space with offices on floors two to six. Stantec will occupy over half the available area, CentreVenture said.

A 450-stall parkade is part of the project. Construction will get underway in November.

"Getting control of the former A & B Sound building was critical to our ability to advance the Portage Avenue Strategy", Ross McGowan, president & CEO of CentreVenture, said in a statement. "In collaboration with the Forks North Portage Partnership, we were able to consolidate this site with the Mitchell-Copp building. The assembly of the two properties created a site large enough for a significant development and we are ecstatic that Longboat Development Corporation stepped to the plate with a redevelopment plan. We believe the confidence LDC and ALT Hotels have in the downtown is just the tip of the iceberg and we will see increasing private sector investment in the downtown as a result of this bold development statement".

Both Premier Greg Selinger and Mayor Sam Katz were on hand for the announcement.

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Updated on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM CDT: More details added.

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