ONE of the crown jewels in the efforts to revitalize Winnipeg's downtown had its coming-out party today.
A host of local dignitaries, including Premier Greg Selinger and Mayor Sam Katz, were on hand this morning for the grand opening of the redeveloped Avenue Building at 265 Portage Ave.
Developers Mark and Rick Hofer have spent more than two years and $12.4 million converting the long-vacant six-storey office building and adjoining three-storey Hample Building into a modern apartment/commercial complex.
The last of the scaffolding was removed on Monday, giving Winnipeggers their first look at the redone facade of the two buildings.
The Hofers and CentreVenture Development Corp., the city's downtown development agency, are expected to provide an update on how the leasing of the apartments is progressing.
A local non-profit agency -- Employment Solutions for Immigrants Inc./Manitoba Starts -- has signed a 15-year lease for the main floor of the Avenue Building and the three lower floors of the Hample Building.
The top five floors of the Avenue and the top three floors of the Hample will be studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments -- 70 in all.
The Avenue Building units looking onto Portage Avenue feature narrow, stainless-steel clad balconies to provide some added visual pop.
-- Murray McNeill