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New development at Island Lakes

Group of investors lines up anchor tenants for space

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A group of local investors plans to build a commercial development at the entrance to Island Lakes that would include up to 35,000 square feet of feet of new retail space.

The group, which includes Victoria Inn co-owner Gary Buckley, already has a conditional deal to sell a one-acre piece of the land to the Salvation Army to build a 7,000- to 9,000-square-foot church/community centre.

And leasing agent Peter Kaufmann of CB Richard Ellis Manitoba said 7-Eleven also has signed a conditional deal to lease a 3,000-square-foot store that would be built on an adjoining 2.2-acre parcel.

Kaufmann said developers want to build 30,000 to 35,000 square feet of commercial space on the parcel, which is at the eastern entrance to the Island Lakes residential development in southeast Winnipeg.

He said negotiations are underway with a number of other prospective tenants for the new development, which hasn't yet been named.

They include a local independent grocer who wants to open a 16,000-square-foot store, an insurance firm, a fitness centre, some medical professionals, and some restaurant and coffee shop operators.

"I know it (2.2-acres) doesn't sound like a lot, but it's the last piece of property on Bishop Grandin that has development potential," Kaufmann said. There are already two commercial buildings at Bishop Grandin and Boulevard De La Seigneurie -- a 21,000-square-foot Home Run Sports outlet and the new head office for the Manitoba Medical Association.

Kaufmann said work on the Salvation Army and 7-Eleven buildings could begin this fall. But construction of the rest of development won't get underway until 40 to 50 per cent of the space has been pre-leased.

"We would certainly need some anchor tenants," he said, adding the grocery store would qualify as one.

Kaufmann said the current owners acquired the 3.2 acres of land about six months ago from the owners of Home Run Sports, who retained the one-acre piece their store was built on.


Avenue Building may finally get tenants


The first wave of residential tenants could be moving into the 107-year-old Avenue Building by the end of next month, according to one of the developers behind the high-profile downtown redevelopment project.

Mark Hofer said he and his brother, Rick, hope to have 24 of the 70 apartments in the long-vacant office building and the adjoining 105-year-old Hample Building ready for occupancy by then. The rest will be phased in over the following few months.

Part of the reason for phasing them in is that the Hofers still aren't sure how the rest of the $12.4-million project will unfold. Their tentative plan is to develop the main floor of the Avenue Building and the existing three floors of the Hample Building as office space, and to add three floors of apartments onto the Hample Building to reach their target of 70 suites.

But that plan is contingent upon their completing a leasing agreement with a commercial tenant keen on taking the office space -- they haven't said who that is -- and the city approving the design of the addition.

Hofer said they hope to have both issues resolved within the next few weeks. In the meantime, they'll continue working on the apartments and on converting the basement into an underground parking garage. And within the next month or so, they also hope to install a canopy and 20 metal balconies on the front of the Portage Avenue building.


New investment sales division at DTZ Barnicke


DTZ Barnicke Winnipeg has added a new investment sales division to its commercial real estate operations.

The three-member division includes company president Martin McGarry and real estate agents Jane Arnot and Chris Macsymic. The division will focus on the sales of local investment properties.

"We've dabbled in it in the past, but it's never been an specific area of focus for us," McGarry said. "But in commercial real estate, particularly in a smaller market like Winnipeg, you have to cover as many bases as you can and as many disciplines as you can."

The firm's other specialties include industrial, office and retail sales and leasing, property management, and property-tax-appeal services.


Know of any interesting trends or developments in local real estate? Let reporter Murray McNeill know at the email address below, or at 697-7254.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 11, 2011 B6

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