October 20, 2019

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Lights are up in West Broadway

IT firm just the latest to discover how well area works for business

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/8/2010 (3359 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A Winnipeg IT company is breathing new life into the West Broadway area by spending an estimated $4 million to acquire and convert an aging building into its new corporate headquarters.

Epic Information Solutions has completely gutted and rebuilt the interior of a 20,000-square-foot, two-storey, brick building at 167 Sherbrook St.

Epic president and CEO David Reid said all that was saved was the exterior walls, the floor joists and the floors. Everything else -- the roof, the mechanical and electrical systems, and the windows -- have been replaced.

The exterior is getting an overhaul, with the goal of having the building completed and occupied by the middle of next month.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/8/2010 (3359 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A Winnipeg IT company is breathing new life into the West Broadway area by spending an estimated $4 million to acquire and convert an aging building into its new corporate headquarters.

Epic Information Solutions has completely gutted and rebuilt the interior of a 20,000-square-foot, two-storey, brick building at 167 Sherbrook St.

David Reid, president of Epic Information Solutions, is excited to see his new office in West Broadway come together.

PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

David Reid, president of Epic Information Solutions, is excited to see his new office in West Broadway come together.

Epic president and CEO David Reid said all that was saved was the exterior walls, the floor joists and the floors. Everything else — the roof, the mechanical and electrical systems, and the windows — have been replaced.

The exterior is getting an overhaul, with the goal of having the building completed and occupied by the middle of next month.

Epic's arrival will bring 75 new workers to the area, and that's good news for local retailers, said Fokke Hoekstra, executive director of the West Broadway Business Improvement Zone.

"That's a lot of people, and they are going to be going out for lunch and shopping in the area. So it's a really good addition for us."

Hoekstra said the former Winnipeg Tools & Fasteners Ltd. building is one of several buildings in the area that are getting a new lease on life as the area undergoes a bit of a resurgence.

He said a building across the street from Epic's new home-to-be is also undergoing extensive renovations. And an architectural firm is moving into another refurbished building on Broadway near Spence Street.

As well, a new Subway restaurant is moving into the main floor of a new two-storey commercial/residential building at the corner of Sherbrook and Westminister Avenue, Hoekstra said.

"It seems more businesses want to relocate here because the rent is still very reasonable compared to Corydon (Avenue) and Osborne Village," he said. "It's becoming kind of trendy... with a few more retailers and a little more (pedestrian) traffic during the daytime."

Rennie Zegalski, a commercial real estate agent with C.B. Richard Ellis Chartier & Associates who brokered the Epic deal, said the area's central location also helps.

He said some companies who want to be centrally located but can't find suitable parking downtown are turning to areas on the fringes of the downtown.

"And I think West Broadway is benefitting from that."

Reid confirmed that Epic was drawn to the area for those reasons. And the building was also the right size.

He said the company wasn't deterred by the fact it needed a lot of work.

"We liked the idea of being able to design the (interior) space so that it fits our company, rather than trying to adapt our company to fit the space."

It also gave Epic a chance to install a new computerized mechanical and electrical system that will enable it to reduce its heating, lighting and electrical costs, and create a more comfortable environment for its employees.

He said Epic needed a new home because it had outgrown its 10,000-square-foot building at 730 Taylor Ave.

"We've been resisting hiring more people because there was no place to put them. We expect the new building to provide a catalyst for growth for our company."

While some new companies are moving into the area, one long-time area business — Gooch's Bicycle & Hobby Shops — recently moved out.

Second-generation owner Gary Gooch said the family-owned firm moved after 77 years because it wanted to consolidate its hobby shop and bicycle shop on one level, and there wasn't room for that at its 185 Sherbrook address.

So it sold the building to its next-door neighbour — the Canadian Cancer Society — and moved into a rental building at 1046 Portage Ave.

"There's a history here. I was actually born and raised on that street. So it was a tough decision to make," Gooch said. Especially when the area is undergoing a revival. "But there's more traffic on Portage Avenue," he added, which is good for the business.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

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