Options for PSB site include public market, housing and green space


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CentreVenture has revealed mixed-use makeover plans for an entire Exchange District block.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/03/2018 (1779 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

CentreVenture has revealed mixed-use makeover plans for an entire Exchange District block.

After more than a year of public consultations, CentreVenture unveiled renderings for the Market Lands, a 2.4-acre piece of prime real estate bordered by James Avenue, William Avenue, Princess Street and King Street where the Public Safety Building and civic parkade currently stand, unused.

Illustrations showed off the development corporation’s main goals for the block, but aren’t finalized concepts. The drawings so far include four mixed residential-commercial use buildings, an affordable housing complex and a public market.

“It’s important for everyone to understand that at this level of (planning), this is about understanding a sense of scale of a place and what’s going to happen here, kind of the overall urban design. It’s not about the architecture of the buildings or the spaces right now,” said CentreVenture CEO Angela Mathieson.

CentreVenture encouraged businesses or organizations who would consider setting up at Market Lands to approach them with an expression of interest. More details on a design competition to firm up plans will be released this spring, Mathieson added.

The city is readying for demolition of the PSB and parkade, but there’s no start date yet.

Demolition is going to be a gradual process, said John Kiernan, Winnipeg’s director of planning, property and development.

“Much to many people’s disappointment, we’re not blowing anything up,” Kiernan said, noting crews will have to be careful dealing with removal of hazardous materials such as asbestos.

Construction of the Market Lands is scheduled to begin in 2020.

Market Lands conceptual renderings

Due to a historical caveat, the southern part of the site needs to be available for public use. That’s where the market and some additional green space are planned to go.

Public consultations about the site’s possibilities drew thousands of varied responses online and at in-person events, said Mathieson.

According to the Market Lands’ Urban Design Framework report, the most popular votes were for parks or green space (17 per cent of respondents) and a market or grocery stores (14 per cent each).

Red River College students who looked at the renderings, which were shown off for the first time at the college’s Exchange District campus Wednesday, wondered whether there would be room for more parking. Mathieson said underground or structured parking are possible additions.

Matthew Tunmer, a first-year electrical engineering student, wasn’t entirely impressed by the initial plan.

“Honestly, I think that they should keep it as parking. I pay $150 per month to park a couple blocks away and it gets expensive. I feel like (having parking) near campus would help,” Tunmer said.

His classmates, including downtown dweller Connor Sloan, also want to see more food options.

“I text him to get me stuff from the grocery store all the time,” Sloan said, pointing to his friend Jared Berezowsky.

“I feel like a grocery store is huge. If there’s no grocery store, there’s nothing to build off of,” said Berezowsky.

Mayor Brian Bowman was hopeful about the Market Lands’ proposal, which will still need to get city hall’s stamp of approval before shovels hit the ground.

“It’s not every day in a large city like ours that we get the chance to redefine an entire block of land right in the heart of our city,” Bowman said.

“It’s critical that we get it right.”

Twitter: @_jessbu


Updated on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 9:21 PM CDT: Changes demolition start date.

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