Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Residential highrise planned next to rapid-transit hub

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THE city's rapid-transit station east of Donald Street could be getting a new highrise neighbour.

MMP Developments and Globe General Agencies plan to build a new 19-storey apartment block on a long-vacant parcel of land on Stradbrook Avenue adjacent to the Harkness station.

The site is an abandoned tennis court previously owned by the Winnipeg Winter Club. The development proposal, which was to come before the city centre community committee today, includes up to 200 apartment units, four live-work units, 2,000 square feet of commercial space, and a 162-stall parkade.

Christopher Daly, a principal with MMP Architects -- the parent company for MMP Developments -- said the apartments will range in size from 505-square-foot bachelor suites to 950-square-foot two-bedroom units.

Their target markets include university students and downtown workers who want to walk to work.

Daly said the project is expected to cost between $35 million and $40 million to build. They hope to begin construction next summer, and to have the building ready for occupancy in 2017.

He noted that's only about a year before the city is scheduled to complete the final leg of the rapid-transit corridor that will connect downtown Winnipeg with the University of Manitoba campus in south Fort Garry. So U of M students renting an apartment in the new complex will be able to walk out the door of the building, hop on a rapid-transit bus and be on campus in as little as seven minutes, he said.

Daly said the project is not only one of the first major mixed-use developments planned for the rapid-transit corridor, it's also one of only a handful of new highrise apartment blocks to be built in the city in the past few decades.

"So it does represent something significant for Winnipeg. We're getting back into the idea of highrises in Winnipeg," he added.

Globe and MMP Developments is the third group of developers to take a run at redeveloping the site. The two previous proposals, one of which called for construction of a 16-storey apartment block, failed to get off the ground.

Winter Club general manager Rob Guthrie said club officials will be thrilled to see the land finally being put to a new use.

"It hasn't been used for more than 10 years now," he said, adding a highrise apartment block would be a good fit for the Winter Club because some of the tenants may want to become club members.

 

-- Murray McNeill

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 13, 2013 B6

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