Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/9/2017 (887 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The president of Red River College says while the school is interested in expanding its student housing, reports the college has ideas about using the Public Safety Building lands to do it are "all fairly premature."
The future of the lands has been uncertain for more than a year now, ever since a Winnipeg city council committee voted against rehabilitating the aging structure. Erected in 1965, the building has only in recent years come to be considered by some as a heritage building. It officially closed in June 2016 and is slated for demoltion — although that won't happen until the city decides what to do with the land.
"It's a huge piece of land," said RRC president Paul Vogt of the 2.4-acre property off Princess Street. "Are we interested? Yes, but at this point it's just that."
Earlier this year, CentreVenture concluded three months of public consultations to figure out what Winnipeggers want to see the city do with the property, which is now known as the Market Lands.
"People see this site as special and that it should be a place where all people feel welcome and feel comfortable," CentreVenture CEO Angela Mathieson told councillors on the property and development committee in May when it released its report.
CentreVenture’s report, titled Guiding Aspirations, said the public wants the former PSB building and civic parkade property developed with a mix of commercial and residential uses but does not want to see the area turned into a vast, empty park.
"People envision appropriate and well-designed public spaces incorporated, but are concerned that large un-programmed open spaces will be unsafe and will not add more vitality to the area," the report states. "Citizens and stakeholders have high expectations for something special to occur on the Market Lands but are concerned that whatever happens fits within the unique context of the area."
Some form of student housing would certainly help RRC, Vogt said, given it has roughly 21,000 students but at most 100 student housing beds. Still, he noted, "this is going to be quite a long process and there has to be a city decision on what they want to use the land for."