THE developers of a planned mixed-use development downtown, including more than 400 condos, continues to exude confidence the project will become a reality.
Jawad Rathore, president and CEO of Fortress Real development Inc., was in Winnipeg on Tuesday to announce the winning entry in the name-the-project contest -- SkyCity Centre.
Rathore said the ambitious 45-storey project -- whose current design includes a nine-storey cap that will make it look 56 storeys high -- has been receiving lots of interest from potential condo buyers as well as sizable potential commercial tenants.
"We thought the name perfectly captures what we are trying to do," he said. "It will be living in the sky... with incredible amenities without ever having to step outside."
The purchase of all the land required -- on the north side of Graham Avenue between Smith and Garry streets -- was finalized in September.
Rathore said planning is "completely on track," with pre-sales to start in the spring of 2014 and construction to begin in the spring of 2015.
"We have had incredible interest from people in Ontario to buy units here because of the attractive Winnipeg rents and the kinds of returns they can expect," he said, adding advanced discussions are underway with national grocery chains.
"We are pleased where we are now with the discussions," Rathore said. "There are three major tenants who are willing to take on lots of space. If we land them all, that might give us the chance to make the residential even more exclusive."