Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/1/2011 (2418 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg landmark faces the wrecking ball today, but the owners of a local beer company hopes their first Canadian brewery will eventually rise in its place.
The Arlington Street Bridge and two northern lanes of Logan Avenue will be closed to traffic this weekend as crews demolish the Regal Furniture building on the northwest corner, at 925 Logan Ave.
The bridge closure, and lane closures on Logan between Arlington and Trinity, are in effect as of this morning at 6 a.m. until Monday at 6 a.m.
A city spokeswoman said the four-storey, 32,340-square-foot structure is being demolished due to "code issues." The owner is paying for the demolition and has the proper permits, she said. The bridge is being temporarily closed for safety reasons due to its proximity to the building.
The property is already home to Minhas Creek Brewing Company, owned by Calgary-based Manjit Minhas and her brother, Ravinder Minhas. Its beer is currently brewed in Wisconsin.
Manjit Minhas said the company hopes to build a brewery at the Winnipeg site within two years, and would employ around 100 people at the facility. The Wisconsin brewery is at capacity and sales are growing, she said.
"Since we already have the land in Winnipeg, we decided, why not do it there?" she said.
If the brewery comes to fruition, it will become the third brewing operation in town, joining Fort Garry Brewing (owned by B.C.-based Russell Brewing) and Half Pints Brewing.
Winnipeg hasn't had that many breweries since Agassiz Brewing closed in 2002, leaving just Fort Garry and Two Rivers Brewing (which merged in 2003). Half Pints entered the local scene in 2006.
The Regal Furniture building wasn't well cared for by its previous owners, said Minhas, and is "crumbling in the inside from the floor to the windows."
"The boiler system is just ancient, and it's caused us major headaches from flooding. The whole building is in disrepair... things have just gone too far, to the point of no return."
An onsite warehouse will continue to be used. Minhas Creek office manager Christine Scott said it would have cost around $1 million to bring the Regal Furniture building up to code. A few tenants have had to vacate the building, which was already partially empty.
The structure isn't a designated heritage building, and little is known of its history by the city or Heritage Winnipeg. "Nobody even knows the date it was built," said Heritage Winnipeg executive director Cindy Tugwell.
Tugwell said it looks like the sort of structure that would be fit for a heritage listing, and suspects it might have missed inadvertently, perhaps due to its location away from a concentration of other historic buildings.
Heritage Winnipeg could be more proactive in future in keeping a more comprehensive inventory, Tugwell said. American Electrical Supply Company Ltd moved into the building in 1960, according to an ad taken out in the Free Press at the time.
The building was the site of a fire in 2001 that caused $700,000 in damage.
-- with files from Geoff Kirbyson and Paul Williamson