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This article was published 6/2/2017 (1008 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE developers behind the proposed $200-million SkyCity Centre Winnipeg condominium tower still hope to begin construction this spring, although they admit they first have to finalize the design and sell a few more condos.
Toronto-based Edenshaw Developments Ltd., whose president and CEO is a former Winnipegger, was unveiled Monday as the new SkyCity co-developer along with one of the original partners in the project — Fortress Real Developments.
Asked if the partners still expect construction to get underway this spring, Edenshaw president and CEO David McComb said: "That is the objective set in front of us and we are getting up to speed with how far the design documents have progressed... Before that, we have the commercial condo launch and we have a few more residential condominium units which need to be sold to meet requirements by lenders."
'That is the objective set in front of us and we are getting up to speed with how far the design documents have progressed'— Edenshaw Developments president and CEO David McComb on if construction of the SkyCity Centre is still on track to get underway in the spring
McComb didn’t say how many more residential condos have to be sold before the project can proceed. Fortress spokeswoman Natasha Alibhai said more than 50 per cent of the 388 residential units in the 45-storey tower have been sold so far, and the developers hope to sell another 10 to 15 per cent (38 to 58 units) over the next few months.
The 60,000 square feet of Class A office condos McComb referred to didn’t officially hit the market until this week. The listing agent for those units — the Winnipeg office of Cushman & Wakefield — is hosting a luncheon Wednesday with local real estate agents and brokers to discuss the offering.
McComb said preliminary estimates are that it will take about 36 months to build the tower. However, some of the occupants in the seven-storey podium, which will include 30,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, five floors of parking, and the two floors of office condos, may be able to start moving in within 30 months of construction getting underway, he added.
Windsor, Ont.-based Mady Development Corp. was Fortress’s original partner in the project, but left at the end of 2014 after running into financial difficulties.
"With such a large and complex tower, we always anticipated the need to add a co-developer for this project to bring it across the finish line," Fortress chief operating officer Vince Petrozza said. "After meeting with Edenshaw, we knew right away they were the perfect fit for the task."
McComb said Edenshaw had been looking to get involved in a project with Fortress for quite some time, "and SkyCity was the right fit at the right time."
Asked if Edenshaw is investing any money in the project, McComb said; "We have a significant investment in SkyCity, but prefer not to discuss the details."
He said one of their top priorities will be resolving when the partners will be entitled to receive $6.5-million in tax incremental financing grants they applied for through a joint city-provincial incentive program. The usual practice is for the money to be paid out in increments over an extended period of time, but Fortress said last month it would like to receive the money upon completion of the project.
"Everyone involved wants to see this project be built, and we hope a resolution to the matter can be found in the coming months," said McComb.
He indicated Edenshaw is also keen to attract a grocery store as a ground-floor tenant, and turn its focus to the retail component once construction has started.
He said another reason Edenshaw is getting involved in the SkyCity project is because "our development focus has been to create urban communities, and we see Winnipeg at the front of this movement and are very pleased to be able to participate in this."
"Also, I remember as a child watching the construction of the Richardson Building and wondering how such tall structures could possibly be built. It’s personally rewarding to come back to Winnipeg, with the experience garnered from my time in Toronto and Vancouver, and have the opportunity to positively impact the skyline of my hometown."
CentreVenture Development Corporation president and CEO Angela Mathieson said it’s encouraging to see an experienced developer such as Edenshaw getting involved in the SkyCity project, which is to be built on Graham Avenue between Smith and Garry streets.
"And I really like the angle that one of the principals is a former Winnipegger," said Mathieson. "That’s always great to have Winnipeggers coming back to Winnipeg to make investments in Winnipeg."
Updated on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 7:32 PM CST: updated to latest version from newspaper