Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/1/2009 (3931 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The non-profit agency is weighing a move to a new structure on the west side of Main Street between Pacific and Alexander avenues, from its Donald Street offices. The location is indicated by an artist's conception dating back to last spring.
A surface parking lot, a pawn shop and a Chinese restaurant currently occupy that section of Main Street.
The proposed development would help CentreVenture, the downtown development agency, continue its goal of revitalizing the west side of the Main Street strip.
CentreVenture is in the midst of securing the remaining financing for Red River College's restoration of the Union Bank Tower, just south of city hall.
The downtown agency has already brokered a deal that led private developer the Resolve Group to build a $30-million new home for the WRHA on Main Street north of Logan Avenue.
The WRHA project will bring 219 employees as well as a health and social services centre to the neighbourhood when the office-and-parkade complex opens in June.
A new home for the United Way would only add to the influx of people, Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan, city council's downtown development chairman, said.
"That's a key part of Main Street and this project would give it another shot in the arm. There are a lot of good things happening there," Pagtakhan said Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to working with the architect to create something positive for the area and for the United Way."
Last week, Pagtakhan spoke critically of the final design of the WRHA building up the street.
The proposed United Way move still faces approval from the organization's board of trustees, spokeswoman Kate Fenske said. No decision will be made before the spring, she added.
"We'd like to be part of downtown revitalization."
In other positive news for downtown, the city is close to finalizing a plan to preserve the historic, red-brick facades of the King Building at the southwest corner of Old Market Square. The facades will form part of a 186-stall parkade that will have 8,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, Barry Thorgrimson, the city's economic development manager, said.
The city stabilized the King Building in late 2007, when a parkade deal was initially reached with owner Bedford Investments. Engineering issues delayed the project last year, but final plans should be formalized at the end of January, Thorgrimson said.
However, two other downtown developments appear to be in limbo.
Liberal Senator Rod Zimmer's $10-million plan to transform the Alexander Docks into a restaurant, meeting hall and marina complex is in jeopardy because the senator's Gatehouse Company missed a Dec. 31 deadline to get shovels into the ground.
Zimmer has asked the city for an extension and the city will respond on Friday, Thorgrimson said.
"We love the project and we want it to proceed," Thorgrimson said.
And, the Canad Inns hospitality chain has yet to proceed with a plan — announced in 2006 — to convert the Metropolitan Theatre on Donald Street into a restaurant and rock 'n' roll museum. No development applications have been made and no building permits have been requested, Thorgrimson said: "So we sit back and wait."
Spokespeople for the Canad Inns chain, the Gatehouse Company, the United Way and CentreVenture could not be reached for comment.
Updates on four downtown revitalization projects:
Project: Preservation of red-brick facades of heritage building at 104 King St. as part of new parkade with commercial units on the main floor. Originally announced in 2007, when the city stabilized the structure.
Status: City of Winnipeg and King Building owner Bedford Investments are slated to finalize deal at the end of January.
United Way headquarters
Project: Proposed relocation of offices to a new building on the west side of Main Street, between Alexander and Pacific Avenues, from Donald Street.
Status: Yet to be confirmed or announced.
Project: Conversion of heritage theatre into rock 'n' roll museum and restaurant announced by Canad Inns hospitality chain in 2006.
Status: In limbo. Canad Inns has not requested any building permits.
Project: Liberal Senator Rod Zimmer secured city approval to build a $10-million restaurant, meeting hall and marina complex last July, provided shovels went into the ground by the end of the year.
Status: May be cancelled. Zimmer has until Friday to present a new development plan.