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This article was published 2/8/2016 (1275 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The rich get richer when it comes to older, well-established Winnipeg neighbourhoods attracting new residential developments.
Osborne Village, which is already the most densely populated neighbourhood in the city, is getting another new apartment building. This time it’s a four-storey, 41-unit complex to be built on two properties west of the intersection of Stradbrook Avenue and Nassau Street North.
Two houses have been demolished to make way for the new structure. Site excavation is underway, and the new building is expected to be completed by the fall of 2017.
A relatively new Winnipeg firm — Well Start International Investment and Consulting Ltd. — is the developer behind the project. Pre-Con Builders is the builder.
Although Osborne Village has seen its fair share of new infill residential development over the last decade or so, the spokesman for another local developer that has been active in the area — Ventura Developments Inc. — welcomes Well Start’s new project at 570 Stradbrook Ave.
"More investment is a good thing," vice-president Tim Comack said.
"It just brings in more people and helps to further the redevelopment and gentrification of the area.
"I think the area that has benefited the most from the building boom we’ve seen in the last 10 years has been Osborne Village, as far as mature communities (are concerned)," he added. "But we just see it as more good happening."
Ventura has completed one new condo development in the Village — the 36-unit Village Junction Condos on Stradbrook Avenue — and is about to start construction on a four-storey, 48-unit condo complex at the corner of River Avenue and Mayfair Place.
It has acquired a third property in the area, where it plans to build another condo complex, Comack added.
Well Start owner Guan Sun launched the company in 2009 while he was in his final year of engineering studies at the University of Manitoba.
He said the company has done about a dozen smaller, infill condominium projects in the Dorchester/Corydon/Stradbrook area since then. This is its first rental-apartment development and its largest project to date.
Originally from Vancouver, Sun said he came here to attend the U of M and decided to stay and launch his new venture here rather than return to the West Coast.
"It’s an easier place to start your own business," he explained. "It requires less equity... than in Vancouver."
He said Winnipeg architect Ernie Walter originally purchased the two Stradbrook Avenue properties with the intention of building two multi-unit condo complexes — one on each property.
After he died in late 2013 and Well Start took over the project, Sun decided to switch to rental units and to build one larger building instead of two.
He said the rationale for switching was the demand for new condos has softened, while the demand for apartments remains strong.
Sun said he jumped at the chance to redevelop the Stradbrook Avenue property because "it’s a very nice area and a prime location."
He also considers Fort Rouge to be one of the few established neighbourhoods in the city where it’s economically feasible to tear down an old building and build something new.
"In other areas, it’s just not worth the trouble."
He said if this project is successful, he’ll likely try to do more infill developments in the area.
Although parking spaces, public or otherwise, can be hard to come by in densely populated neighbourhoods such as Osborne Village it shouldn’t be an issue for tenants in Well Start’s new building.
Jarrod Stevens, project manager for Pre-Con Builders, said the complex will have 59 parking stalls — 25 in the underground parkade and 34 on a surface lot at the rear of the building.
Stevens said the $9-million project will feature six one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom and three three-bedroom apartments.
Sun said they’ll range in size from about 800 to 1,100 square feet, and rental rates will be based on market rates at the time of completion.
Know of any newsworthy or interesting trends or developments in the local office, retail, or industrial real estate sectors? Let real estate reporter Murray McNeill know at the email address below, or at 204-697-7254.
Updated on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 9:45 AM CDT: Clarifies company name.
10:24 AM: Byline fixed.
August 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM: Corrects address.