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This article was published 25/3/2019 (818 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The largest residential development in decades in Selkirk was announced on Monday, kick-starting a project that could eventually amount to $55 million worth of investment in the steel city.
The land developers, three partners in Beausejour called GRG Investments, plan to develop 103 single-family lots as well as two multi-family properties in an area just west of Main Street and south of the newly completed $100 million-plus Selkirk Regional Health Centre.
The first phase of the development will include 47 single-family residential lots and the two multi-family properties. The GRG partners — Greg Crognali, Randy Bialek and Gerald Hawranik (the former PC MLA) — say they have a builder lined up for a 78-unit town house development. Construction could begin as early as the end of May.
They said that because the deal is not finalized, they could not yet say who it is. They are also talking with two home builders who they hope will construct the single-family homes.
Selkirk Mayor, Larry Johannson, said. "This is big for us. We will fill it in a heart beat. This is not planning by chance."
Selkirk's population grew by 4.5 per cent from 2011 to 2016 and is now 10,000. Johannson said that all the development that takes place in the city is done so with the regional population in mind.
Selkirk is becoming an attractive regional hub. It was announced last month that the water and waste-water systems in the city will be upgraded. The Selkirk Mental Health Centre was recently upgraded. A new medical centre is close to the new housing development and there are a number of commercial developments in the city.
"We have a brand new hospital with the only MRI in the Interlake, a brand new regional library (where the announcement took place).... that is all meant for us and all our neighbours," Johannson said.
He said that he could imagine lots in the new housing development will be purchased by a good number of people who live in nearby communities.
"It will draw from Gimli, Winnipeg Beach, Teulon, Pine Falls/Powerview, Lac du Bonnet," Johannson said. "I talk to people all the time when they come here to go shopping. They say they are looking at Selkirk to retire or bring up a family because we have the amenities here that they may not have in their towns."
Crognali said the City of Selkirk has been very co-operative during the three years they have been working on the project.
"We're not sure who is more excited about this, us or the mayor and council," he said.
Bialek said, "This is the first time we did a development where the city didn't just pay lip service. They worked with us right from the first step on. We've never had that type of cooperation before."
Hawranik said originally he and his partners had a smaller development in mind, but the city convinced them to expand the plan. The City of Selkirk is paying about $500,000 of the costs to extend Vaughan Avenue from Purvis Boulevard to Annie Street. The developers promised to pay back the city in five years or less.
The land subdivision on its own will cost about $4 million and the first multi-family development will likely take at least a $9 million-to-$10 million investment to construct.
"The entire project when completed and built will probably be in the $50-million to $60-million range," Crognali said. "It will bring in a substantial tax base to the city."
The developers said they hope to be able to go back to the city in two or three years to develop land that's already been assembled immediately west of this development for another potential round of residential development in Selkirk.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.