A Toronto asset-management company has reaffirmed its commitment to downtown Winnipeg with the acquisition of two Hargrave Street apartment blocks.
Timbercreek Communities, the property management arm of Timbercreek Asset Management, announced Friday it has purchased two three-storey, walk-up apartment buildings at 26 and 45 Hargrave for an undisclosed sum.
The building at 26 Hargrave has 18 suites, while the other has 16.
The acquisitions give Timbercreek five apartment blocks in the city. The others are two downtown highrise buildings at 160 Smith St. and 33 Hargrave, and another highrise tower at 15 Arden Ave.
Timbercreek Communities president Roly Morris told a Winnipeg news conference that when Timbercreek bought its first Winnipeg property -- the block at 160 Smith -- in 2010, "we saw a lot of potential in this city and we still see that potential."
He described Winnipeg as a healthy and growing market. He said Timbercreek is keen to acquire more apartment blocks here, especially downtown.
"There is a renewed vitality in downtown Winnipeg, and we feel we're getting in at a good time..."
Morris and Colleen O'Rourke, Timbercreek Community's regional manager, said the company looks for buildings that can be upgraded and are located in "up-and-coming" neighbourhoods like the downtown. O'Rourke said another area the company is interested in is the southwest part of the city.
"That's a primo development area and has been for the past decade," she said.
On Friday, the company also celebrated the completion of the final phase of renovations/upgrades to the 21-storey, 185-unit building on Smith, which is simply called "160 Smith Street."
Timbercreek bought the building from local developer B & M Land while it was still in the process of converting the former Sheraton/York the Hotel property into a luxury apartment block. Since then, Timbercreek has spent more than $10 million on further upgrades to the property, including the installation of new exterior cladding, windows and doors, and construction of a 176-spot parkade.
The final phase was the construction of a 6,500-square-foot amenities space and five new two-bedroom luxury apartments on the second floor of the building. The amenities space, called Club 160, includes a gym, fireside room, media room, snack bar, party room and games room.
O'Rourke said 160 Smith currently has a 10 per cent vacancy rate. Monthly rents range from $990 for a 700-sq.-ft., one-bedroom suite on a lower floor to just over $1,500 for a 1,200-sq.-ft., two-bedroom, unit on one of the upper floors.