Ground broken on business centre

$18-M venture in city’s northwest to bring ‘essential services’


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Fourteen golden shovels hit the ground near Inkster and Route 90 Thursday.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/07/2022 (214 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Fourteen golden shovels hit the ground near Inkster and Route 90 Thursday.

Just a few patches of earth were overturned, but it was a start — the beginning of an up to $18-million venture, filled with restaurants and professional services.

“The city is growing a lot in this area,” said Sukh Sandhu.

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Ministers Doyle Piwniuk and Andrew Smith, Councillors Vivian Santos and Devi Sharma and others at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Five Rivers Business Centre being developed on Lucas Ave. in Winnipeg on Thursday.

He stood at the site of Five Rivers Business Centre. On Thursday, the space — in northwest Winnipeg, spanning 205 through 245 Lucas Ave. — was still a field.

Two commercial buildings will cover 61,600 square feet, said Sandhu, the centre’s owner.

It’s steps away from the Garden Grove neighbourhood and a short drive from CentrePort, North America’s largest trimodal inland port. Industrial parks stand nearby, and according to local politicians, the area keeps growing.

“There was a lot of industrial area here, but nothing really servicing the people who worked here,” said Navraz Brar, an investor in Five Rivers Business Centre. “We saw the need.”

Restaurants will open closer to the park’s west side, away from the established neighbourhood.

Quieter tenants, like a doctors’ and lawyers’ office, will settle to the east, Brar said. A locally owned grocery store is also set to open.

“Overall, (we’re) just trying to develop the community (and) get essential services here,” Brar said.

There are 46 units ranging from 1,200 to 1,300 square feet each, according to Sandhu. Eighty per cent have already been claimed, he said.

“Most of the businesses that are coming here are also family-run and local,” Sandhu said.

Five Rivers Business Centre is his first dive into commercial property of this scale, he said. He’s working with family members, among others.

“This is our first project, so we want to build an example,” Sandhu said. “The quality of construction, quality of planning, that is our priority.”

Concord Projects and John van Leeuwen Architecture and Design are collaborating on the business centre.

“We’ve all worked pretty hard on it,” architect John van Leeuwen said.

He noted Sandhu immigrated to Winnipeg from India and applauded his family’s investment in the community.

Sandhu is from the Punjab region. The name Five Rivers is a homage to Sandhu’s roots — Punjab means land of five waters.

“We want to keep our name easy for everyone,” Sandhu said. “We don’t want to keep it Punjab, so we keep it five rivers.”

The developers hope construction will be completed by fall of 2023. There will be more than 200 parking spots and upwards of 20 bike stalls, Sandhu said.

Petrus Hall and Barnham Crescent homes border the land.

“I am very excited and ecstatic that development is happening here,” said Coun. Vivian Santos (Point Douglas).

Five Rivers Business Centre falls in her ward. The new buildings will bring vibrancy and accessibility to the community, she said.

“Not every family has a vehicle, so when you have a commercial (place) like this that serves the community… it’s always a great idea,” Santos said. “I think it’s important we have those local facilities made available.”

Provincial Transport Minister Doyle Piwniuk noted Centreport’s proximity to the business park.

“If you look at the development that’s happening with the warehousing along Route 90, there’s a need for all kinds of retail space,” Piwniuk said. “When it comes to restaurants to coffee shops to retail, this gives it a one-stop shop.”

Five Rivers’s presentation to the City of Winnipeg was “really outstanding,” said Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan).

“Investments like this are critical in our city, and it will create many jobs,” she said.

MLA Andrew Smith also attended Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Gabrielle Piché

Gabrielle Piché

Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.

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