Another hotel chain is about to enter the Manitoba market.
Canalta Hotels, a 35-year-old, family-owned company that operates 38 hotels in Alberta and Saskatchewan, has a new 84-room hotel under construction in the Selkirk Crossing retail power centre on the western outskirts of Selkirk.
A spokesman for the power centre's developer -- Winnipeg's Shindico Realty Inc. -- said the hotel is scheduled to open next summer and is Canalta's first in Manitoba.
But others could soon follow.
"We're working with them on (finding) other locations in Manitoba," John Pearson, a broker with Shindico, said in an interview. "They're very interested in Manitoba."
Pearson wouldn't say if Canalta is limiting its search to rural centres, or if it's also looking for development sites in Winnipeg. A spokesman for the company, which also operates hotels under the Super 8, Travelodge and Ramada Inn & Suites banners, was unavailable for comment.
Canalta isn't the only major new tenant coming to Selkirk Crossing. Real Canadian Superstore finally appears close to starting work on its long-awaited big-box grocery store, which had been in the works since before the last global recession.
"We've been advised it will be starting in the near future," Pearson said, noting the Superstore property is already serviced and ready for development.
The grocery-store chain bought the site during the early stages of the centre's development, but put its project on hold when the 2008-09 recession hit.
"They put construction all across Canada on hold for a while," Pearson said. "Now they're resuming things in an organized manner across Western Canada... and we're on the list of projects to be done."
Besides Superstore and Canalta Hotels, other tenants in the Selkirk Crossing power centre include Walmart, Canadian Tire, Staples, Mark's Work Wearhouse, Reitmans, Dollarama and Boston Pizza.
The Superstore property is on the south side of the power centre, which is located at the corner of Highway 9 and Manitoba Avenue. The Canalta Hotel property is on the north side, in what is referred to as Selkirk Crossing North.
Pearson said Canalta is the first confirmed tenant for Selkirk Crossing North. However, there's room for at least six more retail tenants that can range in size from 6,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet, he said, and negotiations are underway with a number of interested parties from the restaurant, retail and financial-services sectors.
He said when the power centre is fully developed -- there are still a couple of small parcels of land available on the south side, as well -- it will boast a total of about 388,000 square feet of leasable space.
The new Canalta Hotel will feature an indoor swimming pool and a conference facility. Pearson said it will be the city's largest hotel and the first to be built in a number of years.
"Selkirk has needed a new, current (hotel) facility," he said, adding there's been a significant amount of residential and retail development in the area over the last decade.
He noted the hotel is also located near a number of the city's major sporting venues, including the 3,500-seat Selkirk Arena.
"It will be nice to also have a hotel in close proximity that has conference facilities."
Selkirk Crossing is one of five rural retail power centres Shindico began developing about a decade ago as part of a major retail expansion boom in Manitoba.
The others are in Brandon, Steinbach, Winkler and Portage la Prairie.
Pearson said the last recession didn't halt retail expansion in Manitoba's major rural centres because the provincial economy fared better than most and the agriculture sector remained stable.
"So the disposable income was still there in these rural service centres," he added, which gave retailers the confidence to continue building.
In the last year, Shindico has added a new Staples store in Selkirk, and new Walmart, Sport Chek, Boston Pizza and Taco Del Mar outlets in the Clearspring Centre in Steinbach.
A new Liquor Mart has also opened in the Brandon South retail power centre in Brandon.
Know of any newsworthy or interesting trends or developments in the local office, retail, or industrial real estate sectors? Let real estate reporter Murray McNeill know at the email address below, or at 204-697-7254.