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.
"We'd definitely like to see 1,400 units, but it could be more," Don Larke, Hopewell's vice-president of development and construction, said in an interview.
Larke said there likely will be both rental units and condominiums and a mix of townhouse and apartment-style buildings.
The apartment-style buildings could include some four- to seven-storey buildings and possibly some highrise structures.
"We want to appeal to a wide cross-section of the multi-family market."
Larke said it will likely take five to seven years to fully develop the site. Hopewell expects to begin installing roadways, underground water and sewer lines and retention ponds in 2015 and to begin making serviced lots available to developers in 2016.
"I think it might be late 2016 or early 2017 before something is out of the ground," he said, adding it will likely be a residential complex because several of those developers have already inquired about purchasing lots.
When Hopewell first unveiled its plans for the site in 2008, it was for a $200-million development that would boast up to 1.5 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space.
But those plans changed after the city identified the property, which is located west of Pembina Highway and north of Bishop Grandin Boulevard, as a major area-redevelopment site in its long-term development plan and decided the second leg of its bus rapid transit corridor between downtown and the University of Manitoba campus would be built just east of the Bishop Grandin Crossing site.
That prompted Hopewell to add a large multi-family residential component to be built adjacent to the new rapid transit corridor. The retail and office space will be built behind that, and the industrial space will be built to the north of that, closer to Chevrier Boulevard.
Larke wouldn't speculate on how many square feet of retail, office and industrial space is likely to be developed, saying that will be determined by market demand.
He also wouldn't say how much the new development is expected to cost, saying only "it will be a substantial investment."
He said market demand also will determine what type of retail outlets are built.
But the possibilities include restaurants, coffee shops, a gas bar, a drugstore and service-oriented outlets such as a bank or credit union branch.
The new master plan also includes two hotels and a 50,000-square-foot call centre, but Larke said those are just possibilities at this point.
However, he and Jim Kulik, a Colliers International agent involved in marketing the Bishop Grandin Crossing development, said at least one hotel is a very real possibility.
Kulik noted there are no hotels along that stretch of Bishop Grandin, and the southwest quadrant is one of the fastest-growing areas of the city in terms of both residential and commercial development.
He and Larke also said several developers have already expressed an interest in building a hotel on the site, "and I imagine there will be ongoing discussions with them," Larke added.
Kulik said he also doesn't expect any difficulty attracting industrial users to the site, including ones looking to rent space in Hopewell-developed buildings, and ones who want to buy a parcel of land and build their own facility.
"There is so little land in the south end of town that can be bought and developed by industrial users," he said. "So there will definitely be industrial development there, without a doubt."
Bishop Grandin Crossing will be Hopewell's second major development in southwest Winnipeg.
It also developed the 450,000-square-foot Kenaston Common retail centre on the northwest corner of Kenaston and McGillivray boulevards.
Larke said Hopewell also hopes to develop some of the commercial sites in Manitoba Housing's proposed Bridgewater Town Centre development, which is part of the massive Waverley West housing subdivision south of Bishop Grandin Boulevard.
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What's being billed as Winnipeg's first membership-based massage therapy clinic is one of the newest tenants in the Shoppes of St. Vital retail development near St. Vital Centre.
Rave Massage, which is owned by the husband-and-wife team of Ted and Tracy Simmons, offers clients a $30 discount on each visit -- $54.95 instead of the regular $84.95 -- if they commit to coming in once a month for 12 months.
Tracy Simmons said while membership massage clinics are popular in the United States and in parts of Eastern Canada, they are the first to bring the concept to Winnipeg.
She said about 40 of the more than 800 clients who have visited the clinic since it opened in March have opted to take out one-year memberships.
"We're happy with it (the pace of membership signings) because we're doing about one every couple of days," she said.
The couple recently returned to Manitoba after 14 years in Fort McMurray, where they owned a physical therapy/massage therapy clinic. Rave is one of three new tenants that have opened in the Shoppes of St. Vital in the last few months, said lead leasing agent Michelle Constant, vice-president of retail for the local office of Cushman & Wakefield. The other two are restaurants: Palatal Stir Fry Express and Kawaii Crepe.
Constant said a new stand-alone Assiniboine Credit Union outlet is also scheduled to open this month, leaving only a 1,247-square-foot unit left to fill.
Other tenants include an Original Joe's and a Wendy's restaurant. The retail centre is located near the southwest corner of St. Mary's Avenue and Bishop Grandin Boulevard.
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.