Murray McNeill

  • Winnipeg retail real estate market healthy despite major store closures, experts say

    A rash of store closings is expected to push Winnipeg's overall retail vacancy rate to its highest level in more than a dozen years, but local industry officials say there's no cause for alarm. The author of the Johnson Report -- a twice-a-year report on vacant rates in office, retail, industrial and investment properties in Winnipeg -- says the closure of four big-box Target stores and two Future Shop outlets will likely push Winnipeg's overall retail vacancy rate above five per cent for the first time since 2002.
  • Apartment unit in Village firm’s latest success

    A LOCAL real estate firm is trying to carve out a niche for itself as a developer of infill rental properties, with one new apartment project nearing completion in Osborne Village and two more in the works. Progressive Real Estate is about a month away from completing a 15-unit, three-storey, walk-up apartment building on an infill lot at 320 Stradbrook Ave.
  • Building a new partnership

    Two Winnipeg companies have joined forces to acquire and redevelop an office building in southwest Winnipeg and are also interested in purchasing other commercial buildings in the city. The Ventura Group of Companies and Westland Construction Ltd. have jointly purchased the FWS Group of Companies building at 475 Dovercourt Dr. for an undisclosed sum and plan to move their own offices into the 19,537-square-foot structure later this year.
  • Century-old candy factory in Exchange District set to finally become housing

    A Victoria developer has set out to accomplish what several other developers were unable to do -- convert a century-old former candy factory in the East Exchange District into a residential complex. Alston Properties has already gutted the 109-year-old Galpern Building at 165 McDermot Ave., and is poised to begin converting the six-storey heritage building into 30 one-bedroom rental apartments and four two-bedroom townhouse units.
  • Stonewall housing project in jeopardy

    A $30-million development that would see more than 600 new homes built in Stonewall may be in jeopardy because of an 11th-hour disagreement between the developer and the town's new mayor and council. At the heart of the dispute between the town and Winnipeg-based Ventura Land Company Ltd. is what kind of lot fees Ventura should pay the town over the course of its nine-phase Quarry Ridge Park development, which could take up to 20 years to complete.
  • Boom on Broadway

    A growing cluster of restaurants and coffee shops is emerging along Broadway, one of Winnipeg's most picturesque downtown streets. With the opening of a new sandwich deli last month -- Nick's on Broadway -- and the opening next month of a new coffee/beer/wine bar -- Fools & Horses -- there will be at least a dozen eateries on or just off Broadway between Main and Osborne streets.
  • 2014 big year for investments

    It was a record-smashing year for sales of investment properties in Winnipeg in 2014. Preliminary year-end numbers compiled by Colliers International show nearly $1 billion worth of properties -- $972 million to be exact -- changed hands last year in the city.
  • New infill condos going up

    A group of local developers is about to launch two new infill condominium projects in the city, one in the Wolseley area and the other in the Maples. One of their projects is a three-storey, nine-unit condo complex, called Urban Glo, which will be built on two infill lots on Picardy Place, just south of the intersection of Portage Avenue and Broadway.
  • Real estate investment trust giving itself a boost of green

    Artis Real Estate Investment Trust is getting greener. The Winnipeg-based REIT is in the midst of upgrading most of the 65 office buildings in its North American property portfolio to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. That includes eight of the nine properties it owns here.
  • Nordik Group's $11-million Thermëa spa opens Jan. 15

    It's being billed as a spa unlike any other in the city, featuring year-round outdoor pools and hot tubs, an outdoor waterfall, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and a series of cedar saunas and steam rooms, connected by heated outdoor paths. When Nordik Group's $11-million Thermëa spa opens Jan. 15 on the city-owned Crescent Drive Golf Course, it will also be the latest addition to Winnipeg's growing list of world-class tourist attractions, said one local tourism industry official.
  • First fashion boutique on Waterfront

    Waterfront Drive has its first fashion boutique. Flaunt Boutique, a higher-end women's fashions outlet, opened earlier this month in the last vacant commercial unit in the Excelsior condominium complex at 270 Waterfront Dr.
  • Home is where the hub is

    One of the city's most active condominium developers -- StreetSide Development Corp. -- is jumping on the transit-oriented development (TOD) bandwagon. StreetSide, which is a division of local home-building giant Qualico, plans to build two condo developments at the south end of the first leg of the city's southwest rapid transit corridor (RTC). The partially built transitway will run between downtown and the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus.
  • New pubs added to the mix

    Two more pubs featuring live entertainment -- one a locally conceived concept and the other part of a national chain -- have opened their doors in the city within the last few weeks. St. James Tap and Table, a 300-seat pub that opened Oct. 31 in the former Dylan O'Connor location at 2609 Portage Ave., is owned by Billabong Gastropub co-owner Mike Alfred and five other local investors.
  • Commercial investments sizzle

    With nearly three months still to go, 2014 is already the second-best year in nearly a decade-and-a-half for sales of commercial investment properties in Winnipeg. According to data compiled by the Winnipeg office of Colliers International, 70 properties have changed hands since the start of the year for a total of $618.2 million. That includes office, retail, industrial, multi-family residential, parking and hotel properties, as well as land.
  • Boom in West Broadway

    The success of the West Broadway area's first new multi-family residential development in recent memory has helped spark another development just a few blocks away. The new development planned for the northwest corner of Maryland Street and Wolseley Avenue is much smaller than Sandhu Developments' Element Condominiums development near the corner of Sherbrook and Sara Avenue -- nine units versus 44.
  • Former factory, livestock building being converted into apartments

    Two more downtown buildings are being converted into rental apartments -- both by the developer of one of the area's high-profile new condominium developments. Sandhu Developments Ltd., which earlier this month broke ground on its $34-million D Condo complex on Assiniboine Avenue, is converting the six-storey former Bemis Bag Building at 311 Alexander Ave. into 88 apartments and the five-storey former Adelaide Mini Storage building at 49 Adelaide St. into 51 rental units.
  • Man on a mission: Eight-year reno transforms Hargrave Street building

    A Winnipeg real estate investor hopes an eight-year labour of love will soon start to pay big dividends. That's how long Nestor Budyk, an accountant turned real estate investor/property manager, has been painstakingly redeveloping a century-old, five-storey commercial building at 448 Hargrave St. into a modernized, multi-use complex. There are five residential units -- one condo and four rental apartments -- on the top three floors, and three commercial units on the bottom two floors and the lower level.
  • Bishop Grandin Crossing development no longer just commercial

    A Calgary developer has revamped its plans for a major new development on former Manitoba Sugar Co. land in south Fort Garry. Hopewell Development Corp. now hopes to include at least 1,400 multi-family residential units in its 53-hectare Bishop Grandin Crossing development, which was originally envisioned as a strictly commercial development.
  • Artist market on way to Main

    Another piece of the Main Street revitalization puzzle will fall into place with the expected opening this fall of an new artist market just a stone's throw north of city hall. The Compendium Artist Market is a new venture by Ryan Poworoznik, a local graphic designer/artist/photographer who is converting a 2,400-square-foot building at 5641/2 Main St. into an arts-themed, mixed-use space that will include an art gallery, a craft market, a photography studio and an organic coffee/juice bar.
  • Turning back the hands of time

    The former owner of a century-old retail/warehouse building on Lombard Avenue admits she had some serious reservations when she and her husband sold the heritage property in late 2008. Cynthia Brick, co-owner of Brick's Fine Furniture, said she wasn't worried the new owners wouldn't do a good job converting the 111-year-old building at 111 Lombard Ave. into an energy-efficient office complex. They'd already successfully redeveloped a similar heritage building next door at 93 Lombard.
  • Mid-box units stand empty

    For more than a decade, big-box and mid-box stores have been springing up around the city as part of a wave of new retail development in Canada. But now at least half a dozen of these mid-box -- 20,000- to-50,000-square-foot -- outlets sit empty on major thoroughfares such as Pembina Highway, Regent Avenue and St. James Street.
  • Fashion arrives at the White House

    A local fashion designer has set up shop in the long-vacant main-floor space of the historic White House office/retail building on downtown Portage Avenue. Veronica Davis plans to operate a number of different concepts out of the approximately 3,000-square-foot main-floor space, including a retail boutique, a small café, and her online fashion magazine/clothing boutique business (megatrndz.com).
  • Core offices become condos

    It wasn't working as an office building, but a local developer is betting $2 million Portage Avenue's Dreman Place will succeed as an executive-condo/retail complex. That's how much the Sunrex Group of Companies has spent over the last couple of years on converting the top five floors of the six-storey building at 238 Portage Ave. into five New York-loft-style, executive condominiums, and the main floor into two retail/commercial units.
  • Marshalls expanding in city

    Off-price designer-fashion specialist Marshalls is the latest big-name retailer to set up shop in the popular Kenaston-McGillivray retail node. A 28,100-square-foot store -- the U.S. chain's second in the city -- is scheduled to open March 27 in the Linden Ridge Shopping Centre on the southeast corner of the intersection.
  • Love affair for bargain hunters

    Local bargain hunters can breathe easier. Although Liquidation World's U.S. parent announced in December it was shutting down all 78 of its Canadian stores, including the ones here in Manitoba, another out-of-province discount retail chain is stepping in to help fill the void.

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