Frank Koch-Schulte, vice-president of Edison Properties, is happy to see his company refocus on developing properties in the North Kildonan area.
Edison is presently raising three apartment towers that will have a mix of commercial services underneath. The complex is named Ruth Gardens and is located at 1155-1157 Rothesay St.
"It’s a good area and it’s nice to see it’s getting attention and being revitalized" Koch-Schulte says.
"It was an unfortunate site in an otherwise great neighbourhood, so were happy to help it turn around" he says of the half empty strip mall being replaced.
"I bought my first house just down the street from here, and our company’s founder, Martin Bergen, had always been heavily involved in North Kildonan, back to when he built a community skating rink down the street on Rothesay."
Edison Properties has a rich history of providing living spaces in Winnipeg. Evolved from the Marlborough Development Corporation, it was once the largest developer of multi-family housing in Manitoba.
Miriam Bergen, the daughter of Martin Bergen is now the president of Edison. She has kept the core of the team together and the companies’ vision alive.
"I’ve been with Edison Properties since I was about 14. I started by doing yard maintenance and painting" Koch-Schulte says. "We have a number of staff who have been with us for a long time (so), despite that we are a large company ,we have a family feel."
"We are all excited to see something new." Koch-Schulte says of Ruth Gardens.
"As a group our whole office got together with MMP Architects and Akman Construction. Using the community feedback we addressed as many concerns as we could, such as looking into backyards, maintaining the roadways and keeping construction impact to a minimum. Having information from all the other developers’ previous attempts to develop the site gave us an idea of what the area did or didn’t want."
"We hope the community likes it, we tried to meet everyone’s goals, and find workable solutions through the designs.," he says.
Residents will enjoy living in large well lit, climate controlled spaces with five appliances. They will share large common areas including an exercise room and have views over the expansive green space of the neighbouring school.
Edison Properties is known for optional personal services for its’ 55-plus residents, including organized shopping and recreational trips.
"We are trying to get as many amenities as we can for the site to make it great for anyone living close by to have conveniences. The goal is to have all the commercial spaces tenant-focused and to be a benefit to the neighbourhood."
Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.