ONE of the city's largest apartment block developers and managers, WRE Developments Ltd., is building a 12-storey block in west Winnipeg.
The $15.9-million, 160-unit building is going up on vacant land at 455 Westwood Dr., next door to a 14-storey block -- Westwood Estates -- that WRE also owns.
Ron Hambley, executive vice-president of the Winnipeg Construction Association and a longtime Westwood resident, said Westwood Estates was built in the early 1980s.
He said he lived there for about a year and the talk even back then was that WRE planned to build a second tower.
But for whatever reason, it never happened.
He estimated it likely won't be ready for occupancy until the fall of next year.
The project will add much-needed new rental units to the Winnipeg market, which is grappling with its lowest apartment vacancy rate on record at 0.8 per cent.
A WRE official confirmed Monday the company is building the new block, but he declined further comment, saying it's a family owned and managed firm that doesn't discuss its business in public.
According to the company's website, the firm was launched in the 1960s by brothers Henry and Arthur Dyck.
It began as a cabinet shop and later diversified into construction, first as a homebuilder and then as a developer and owner of apartment blocks.
It said WRE Development was established in 1970, and has since grown to become one of Winnipeg's largest property management companies. It owns 20 apartment blocks in the city, including the two Holiday Tower blocks on Hargrave Street, Towers of Polo Park at 666 St. James St. and Summerland at 77 University Cres.
The firm also owns four apartment buildings in Calgary and has unspecified holdings in Phoenix, Denver and California.