City council's property committee has approved a Shindico Realty plan to convert 43 acres of land on Winnipeg's western fringe into a new commercial development called Westport Festival.
Shindico plans to develop 600,000 square feet of commercial space alongside Portage Avenue, west of the Perimeter Highway. Hotels and retail are planned for the land, which was purchased from the Red River Exhibition.
Couns. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), Grant Nordman (St. Charles) and Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas) voted unanimously in favour of rezoning agricultural land to make way for the development, which Nordman and Browaty hailed as an important new commercial development for Winnipeg.
Browaty said he is not certain whether Shindico will proceed with a plan for a sign as high as the Statue of Liberty on the site, even though a sign of similar size has been approved for the IKEA-led development on Kenaston Boulevard. Browaty said a sign that high may be needed for Westport Festival to be seen from the Perimeter Highway.
Nordman, however, said he saw no issue with a 155-foot sign. "Bigger is better," he said.
The development still faces executive policy committee and council approval.