A new daycare and a fitness club could be joining a restaurant and grocery store in the new highrise apartment tower/commercial development Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) plans to build near Portage and Main.
Artis confirmed earlier this year that it wants to land a prominent restaurant for the main floor of the podium portion of its 40-storey apartment tower, which was announced in April 2016.
The tower will be built on one of two existing foundation pads on top of the Winnipeg Square underground retail mall/parkade, and an Artis official said in March it hopes to build a full-line grocery store on the second pad.
However, the leasing agent for the commercial space in the two buildings said the latest plan is to build a two- or three-storey building on the second pad that would include a 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot grocery store on the main floor, and a daycare centre and a fitness club on the other one or two floors.
"We think these are amenities that not only the tower (tenants) want, but the downtown wants," said Ken Yee, senior vice-president of Cushman & Wakefield Winnipeg.
Yee said securing a full-service grocery store remains a priority for Artis, and that talks are ongoing with several national chains.
"All of the stakeholders would love to see something like that happen, particularly at Portage and Main," he added. "We’ll be pushing really hard to get something done on the grocery store by the fall."
Yee said talks are underway with a well-known national chain that is interested in leasing main-floor space in the apartment tower, which will be built on the foundation pad at the south end of the Winnipeg Square property. He wouldn’t say which chain because negotiations are ongoing.
"But you can say we’re working on a popular, premium casual restaurant," he added.
He said the restaurant would be about 7,000 square feet in size, with a mezzanine level and an outdoor patio on the roof of Winnipeg Square overlooking Main Street.
"It will be very neat," he added.
Work on the 400-unit, $165-million apartment tower is expected to get underway this summer or fall, and should be completed in the spring of 2020.
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One of the city’s oldest and most distinctive downtown office towers — the Confedration Life Building at 457 Main St. — is getting a facelift.
Shindico Realty Inc., which has owned the 10-storey building since the 1980s, plans to spend about $1 million this summer on repairs to the building’s front facade, which is curved to follow a bend in Main Street.
The front facade of the steel and concrete building is sheathed in white terra cotta, with projecting cornice.
"We’re wanting to preserve the important architectural features," Shindico president Sandy Shindleman said. "We want to reverse any deterioration and make it new again."
"They’ll be removing any broken pieces, refabricating them and putting them back on," added Sandra Sumner, Shindico’s associate vice-president, property management.
Shindleman said other parts of the exterior masonry work were repaired in the past.
"We’ve done a lot of work over the years. If there is anything else (that needs to be repaired), we’ll do it. But I don’t think there is anything else."
Construction crews began putting up scaffolding last week and Sumner said that phase of the project will take two or three weeks to complete. Once the scaffolding is in place, remediation work on the facade will begin. They hope to have the work completed by the end of September, Sumner added.
The Manitoba Historical Society says the steel-framed, 52,591-square-foot building was built in 1912 at a cost of $400,000, and is representative of early high-rise construction technology in Winnipeg.
"It’s style, use and placement within Winnipeg’s commercial core make it an enduring symbol of the city’s great economic and spatial growth in the early twentieth century," it adds.
Shindleman said the entire building is leased to the City of Winnipeg.
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A second Fatburger restaurant opened in Winnipeg on Friday.
It’s located at 1524 Regent Ave. W. in the Rougeau Plaza shopping centre. It’s owned by Lonnie Boroskae and Kelly and Kevin Hamm, who also own the city’s first Fatburger franchise, which opened in 2013 in the Seasons of Tuxedo shopping centre on Sterling Lyon Parkway.
"We are pleased with the great reception we have received in Winnipeg and are looking forward to serving guests in the newest addition to our burger chain," said Frank Di Benedetto, president, CEO, and owner of the FDF Restaurant Brandz franchise system, which includes the Fatburger Canada chain.
In keeping with the Fatburger tradition, the new Winnipeg restaurant features an open kitchen, allowing guests to order at the counter and view their meals being cooked. Items on the menu include burgers, chicken wings, chicken sandwiches, fries and milkshakes.
Fatburger traces its roots to the 1950s in Los Angeles, when the word fat meant cool or hip. There are more than 50 Fatburger restaurants in the four western provinces, Ontario and the Northwest Territories.