Osborne inn on the way out?

Village mainstay sold, future unclear


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One of Winnipeg's trendiest neighbourhoods will be getting a facelift now that the Osborne Village Motor Inn has been sold.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/08/2015 (2848 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

One of Winnipeg’s trendiest neighbourhoods will be getting a facelift now that the Osborne Village Motor Inn has been sold.

The fate of the motel, which has been a mainstay in the Village for roughly half a century, is up in the air after a spokeswoman for a local business group confirmed it has been sold.

Stephanie Meilleur, executive director of the Osborne Village Business Improvement Zone, said one of the hotel’s owners told her about the deal Monday.

John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press The Osborne Village Motor Inn, a mainstay in the trendy neighbourhood for about half a century, has been sold.

She said he told her a closing date for the deal has not been set, and it will be business as usual until then.

Sources said Monday the deal involves the hotel, which is situated on the northeast corner of Osborne Street and Wardlaw Avenue, the parking lot immediately behind it, and the parking lot on the north side of Wardlaw behind Stella’s restaurant, which is on the southeast corner of Osborne and Wardlaw.

One real-estate source said he heard some time ago investors were interested in buying the properties, and they wanted to convert the motor inn into a boutique hotel with a day spa and build a multi-level parkade with a ground-floor vendor on the lot behind Stella’s.

Another rumour making the rounds on social media sites Monday was that condominiums would be built on the parking lot behind the hotel.

Meilleur said the owner didn’t say who is buying the hotel or what the buyers’ plans are for the properties.

“But I’m sure it’s going to be a newer development,” she said, possibly even a new hotel.

“But it will be coming down the pipeline soon,” she added. “We will probably see construction start early winter.”

The hotel, which opened in the 1960s as the Champs Motor Inn, is owned and operated by brothers Coleman and David Green, who bought it from Winnipeg’s Kives family in 1978.

Coleman Green declined to comment when contacted Monday. He suggested calling back in about two weeks.

Meilleur said she wasn’t surprised to hear the hotel has been sold, saying she knew for some time the Greens were looking to sell.

“They’re a huge attribute to the Village. They helped make the Village what it is. So we’re sad to see them go, but also looking forward to the future and what is going there.”

Manitoba Hotel Association president and CEO Jim Baker said he also wasn’t surprised to hear the hotel reportedly has been sold.

“I’ve heard this many times before about hotel properties. So maybe the line is that every property is for sale at the right price. And I’m sure if the price is right it would turn over.”

As for what might happen to the hotel, Baker said it’s an ideal location for a beer vendor – a service currently offered by the hotel –  because of all the people living in the area. But because it’s in the Village, it would also be a prime property to redevelop.

“I would think that its cash flows quite well, but I think if you put a real estate value on it, I think you would have to find ways to increase the revenue stream on that property,” he said. “And that would require investment.”

The hotel has been a longtime supporter of live music acts.

Over the years, thousands of bands have played on its two stages, the Zoo and Ozzy’s.


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