One of Winnipeg’s most iconic landmarks might soon have new owners: the Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre is up for sale.
The downtown hotel, which first opened its doors in 1913, is now on the market, with national realtor Cushman & Wakefield seeking out investors to continue to guide the business throughout its second century.
Curtis Gallagher, the company’s vice-president of hotel investments in Canada, confirmed the listing to the Free Press Saturday afternoon.
While no price has been set, and the value of such a building can be difficult to pinpoint, Gallagher said the expected ballpark figure for a successful bid will be "somewhere in the $40 millions," with those successful purchasers anticipated to take ownership at some point next spring.
"I think it’s a great opportunity for somebody to take this great asset into the next chapter of its life," he said.
The 10-storey hotel features 240 guest rooms, a 16,000 square-foot spa facility, and over 33,000 square-feet of meeting space. In 1981, it was listed as a national historic site, a designation followed by the province in 1990. According to legend, it also hosts a ghost.
Gallagher said the company has sent out marketing materials to its network of investors, and interested parties who sign a non-disclosure agreement would receive more information about the property.
At this point, potential bidders are still being solicited, but Gallagher said the owners will likely entertain offers from Winnipeg-based, domestic, or international investors. "I think they’re open to anybody," he said.
Current ownership approached Cushman & Wakefield last month to represent them in the sale, and the property was launched to the market last week, Gallagher said.
Originally built by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, CN Rail took possession when it took over Grand Trunk and owned it until 1979, closing it in 1978. In 1979, the Perrin family purchased the hotel and owned it until 1987 when it was seized by the city in a tax sale. Quebec hotelier Raymond Malenfant then bought and operated the hotel until selling it to the current managing partners, Rick Bel and Ida Albo, in the 1990s.
Today, the hotel is owned by Bel and Albo, along with Quebec City’s Laberge Group.
In 2009, Albo and Bel rebranded the building as the Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre. That year, the hotel added over 35,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space at Fort Garry Place.
According to the Manitoba Historical Society, the hotel was designed by Montreal architects George A. Ross and David H. McFarlane. The hotel is approaching its 106th anniversary of when it first opened to the public, Dec. 11, 1913.
Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.