Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

High hopes for hotel plan

But CentreVenture has yet to sell land

  • Print
A mixed-use development is planned as part of the construction of a hotel across from the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

A mixed-use development is planned as part of the construction of a hotel across from the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. Photo Store

A mixed-use residential and commercial development on Carlton Street could kick-start the construction of a hotel required to be part of the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg's $180-million expansion.

More than a year ago, CentreVenture purchased the Carlton Inn north of the convention centre with the intention of securing the property for a hotel to serve an expanded convention centre.

The City of Winnipeg topped up CentreVenture's line of credit by $6.6 million late in 2012 in order to make this purchase -- and gave the development agency one year to sell the property and recoup the cash.

When that didn't happen by the end of 2013, the city offered an extension until 2016, when the convention-centre expansion is supposed to be finished.

Negotiations are now underway to build not just a hotel on the Carlton Inn site, but also a residential and commercial development.

"I'm pushing for a broader development than just a hotel," CentreVenture president and CEO Ross McGowan said Tuesday. "You won't recover the land costs solely from the hotel."

The Carlton Inn was assessed by the city at $1.9 million before it was purchased, but that sum did not include the value of the hotel business.

McGowan said the purchase was justified on the basis of the property's strategic position -- immediately north of the convention centre and two blocks west of the MTS Centre, within the "sports, hospitality and entertainment district" envisioned by CentreVenture.

He also noted downtown land values are on the rise. Toronto's Fortress Developments, for example, paid $9 million for a surface-parking lot on Smith Street.

"When you look at the price that was paid for the parking lot across from the post office, this is certainly right in line," McGowan said.

CentreVenture got involved with acquiring land for the convention-centre hotel after a plan to build a hotel with entirely private money hit a snag.

Stuart Olson Dominion Construction won the bid to expand the convention centre by partnering with Dallas-based consulting firm Matthews Southwest. But the consulting firm left the project, leaving the construction company with the task of building the hotel.

Stuart Olson Dominion is now interviewing several potential partners, McGowan said. The convention centre has no involvement with this component of the expansion, general manager Klaus Lahr added.

The convention centre needs about 300 additional rooms to make the expansion work, said Jim Baker, president of the Manitoba Hotel Association.

"We're short of branded, larger properties," he said. "If they build it, people will come. It's an ideal site."

Nonetheless, Baker said CentreVenture faces a difficult task in trying to recoup all of the money it spent on the Carlton Inn.

"If they sell the land for $2 million, someone will point out they paid almost $7 million," he said. "The hotel community doesn't want the city to subsidize another hotel property, but on the other hand, they want to see a development there."

Baker suggested the tax revenue the city will receive from a new hotel over the long term would justify a short-term capital loss. But if CentreVenture sells the Carlton Inn site for less than it paid, the deal with the city requires the agency to come up with the rest of the cash.

 

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 26, 2014 A1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

The Whiteboard - Jets' 5-on-3 penalty kill

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google