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This article was published 22/1/2016 (1460 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WORK is underway on a two-phase development that will transform the look of the city's busiest intersection — Confusion Corner.
The Osborne Place development will include a six-storey office complex and a highrise residential/retail tower. Both buildings will also feature retail space on the main floor.
The development will be built on two adjacent properties on the west side of Osborne Street, immediately south of the intersection of Osborne, Pembina Highway and Corydon Avenue, which is commonly referred to as Confusion Corner.
The lead developer is Imperial Properties, a property management and development firm with offices in Winnipeg and Regina.
Imperial president and CEO Adrian Schulz said Thursday the development plan for Osborne Place has been more than three years in the making and has changed considerably from what was originally envisioned.
The original concept, which was unveiled in late 2012, only included an office/retail building.
But at the urging of city and neighbourhood officials, Imperial agreed to delay the project, bring in some new financial partners and expand the development to include a residential/retail tower.
"But now we're in the full swing of things. They're pounding in piles as we speak for the office building," Schulz said. "We're very confident that Winnipeg residents will find the finished product well worth the wait."
Jenny Gerbasi, the city councillor for Fort Rouge/East Fort Garry, said Osborne Place is exactly the kind of mixed-use, highrise development the city wants to see in the Corydon/Osborne neighbourhood and on land adjacent to the rapid transit corridors. "There are also a lot of pedestrian improvements that will go right beside the rapid transit station (on Osborne)," she said. "So with the density and the intensity of activity, and then the improvements to the pedestrian environment and everything, it's a pretty good news story."
Schulz said the office/retail tower should be completed by the end of this year. Construction of the apartment/retail tower, which will be built at the corner of Osborne and Jessie Avenue, will hopefully get underway in early 2017.
Although the preliminary plans call for a 10- to 12-storey residential tower, Schulz said Imperial would like to make it even bigger if the city will allow it.
"It's obviously more (economically) feasible the bigger it is," he explained, adding he hopes to finalize the design plans for the residential tower later this year.
He said market demand will determine whether the residential units are rental apartments or condominiums. There's a chance they may even be purpose-built student housing units.
Schulz said three local companies have said they'd each like to lease an entire floor in the office building. Each floor is 6,315 square feet.
As well, two others called Wednesday to say they are also interested in leasing space in the building now that construction is underway, he said.
As for the kinds of retail tenants Imperial hopes to attract, Schulz said it would be nice if they included a well-known coffee-shop operator, a well-known quick-service restaurant and a small pharmacy.
He said he's confident Imperial, which will handle the leasing and manage the buildings, can fill the office and retail space because of the high visibility the site provides. He noted a recent traffic study found more than 91,100 vehicles pass through Confusion Corner each weekday.
Updated on Friday, January 22, 2016 at 7:50 AM CST: Adds image