A Toronto developer is bringing its brand of "industrial chic," loft-style condominiums to downtown Winnipeg as part of the highly anticipated Centrepoint development on Portage Avenue.
Urban Capital Property Group, which has 15 downtown condo projects under its belt and another dozen in the works in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, is teaming up with Centrepoint co-developer Longboat Development Corp. to build a 17-storey, 170-unit condo building on Hargrave Street just north of Portage.
The one- and two-bedroom units will be fairly small by Winnipeg standards -- 500 to 800 square feet -- to keep prices as affordable as possible. Most will be priced between $169,900 and $250,000, with a few select ones going for as much as $315,000.
But Urban Capital partner David Wex said the condos all feature an open design, which includes nine-foot-high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room, and a sliding door/wall between the living room and bedroom.
"Five hundred square feet might sound small," Wex said, "but it's not when you're talking about an open concept with high ceilings and huge windows. The entire wall is a window, so it feels very expansive."
Longboat disclosed in September it was in negotiations with a Toronto developer about building a highrise condo tower on top of the south end of a five-storey, 450-stall parkade it will be building on Hargrave Street.
The condo tower and parkade are part of Longboat's and Artis Real Estate Investment Trust's $75-million 311 Portage Avenue Centrepoint development. The development also includes a five-storey, 100,000-square-foot office-retail complex and a 15-storey Alt hotel on the northeast corner of the block bordered by Portage and Ellice avenues and Donald and Hargrave streets.
Longboat officials refused in September to reveal the name of the Toronto developer. But in an interview Wednesday at Longboat's downtown office, Wex confirmed it's Urban Capital, and it will be a 50-50, joint-venture project.
Wex said Urban Capital expects this to be the first of several highrise condo projects it will be co-developing in downtown Winnipeg. "We are doing this to hopefully start a long-term relationship with this city. We're not interested in coming here and doing a one-off."
He said he and his partners are big boosters of downtown revitalization and see a lot of untapped potential here.
"I think Winnipeg's downtown is a number of years behind other cities in terms of redevelopment, and we hope to be on the leading edge of the resurgence in your downtown."
Wex said he and his partners approached Longboat about doing a joint-venture condo development after being told about the Centrepoint project by Alt Hotel officials.
"The draw here was being part of the Centrepoint project and being part of a big, urban-revitalization project."
Longboat's director of commercial development, Doug McKay, said Urban Capital was the kind of experienced developer Longboat was seeking as a partner in the condo project.
"It was an automatic for us."
McKay said Longboat wanted to include a highrise residential building in the development, but had no previous experience with that type of project while Urban Capital has a wealth of it.
He said the overall development project remains on schedule. The office/retail/hotel complex should start emerging from the ground before the end of the year with a completion date of summer 2014. Work on the parkade will begin early in the new year and construction of the condo building about a year later with the goal of having it completed by mid-2015.
HERE are some additional details about the Longboat-Urban Capital Glasshouse condominium project:
Exterior walls will be predominantly glass to create a sleek, contemporary look.
The condos will feature exposed concrete ceilings and metal ductwork, large sliding doors and floor-to-ceiling windows to create an "industrial chic" look. That will be balanced with hardwood floors and some stone finishes.
The building's indoor amenities will include a gym, private screening room and large party room with a kitchen.
Outdoor amenities will include a private terrace on the roof of the parkade, with lounge seating, chaise lounges, resort-style cabanas, firepits and a dining table.
-- source: Urban Capital Project Group
and Longboat Development Corp.