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This article was published 16/4/2018 (1278 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Transcona will soon be home to a brand new Best Western Premier hotel, the first of its kind in Winnipeg.
The six-storey hotel will be going up at 900 Regent Ave. W, which residents might recognize as the 4.4 acres between Regent and Pandora which have sat vacant for years.
Owner and developer Sherwood Sharfe was in Winnipeg on April 10 for a sod-turning along with Mayor Brian Bowman, and executives from Calnitsky Associates Architects Inc. and Bird Construction.
Sharfe said he thinks the use of hollow core concrete and steel, as well as the location, will be what sets his hotel apart from others.
"This is really a quality structure," Sharfe said. "It’s really a permanent kind of look, and much more guest-friendly because of the non-invasive sound you get as a result of building it that way."
The hotel will feature 141 rooms, a bar, meeting rooms, a fitness centre, a pool and slide, and a restaurant.
Sharfe said he started the process over two years ago.
"The nature of the business is that if you want any bank to lend you money, you have to do a feasibility study." Sharfe said. "So I paid for one and it pointed out that there is absolutely room for this additional hotel."
After that, he said he contracted architects who recommended a six-storey hotel to make best use of the land.
Sharfe said the second phase of development will be to add a 600-seat event centre.
"There’s plenty of businesses in that area, so I’m hoping that could benefit them," Sharfe said. "Instead of running all the way downtown, it might be better to do it locally."
He also plans to eventually build a standalone beer and wine store which would function alongside the hotel.
But there’s still plenty of work to be done before that happens. Development of the land only just started with crews hauling in crushed concrete to build roads on and off the site, and putting piles into the ground.
"Just developing the site is a big issue because it’s 4.4 acres," Sharfe said. "But we’re scurrying to get it going. Time kills, money goes up, and I just want to get on with it."
Originally from Saskatchewan, Sharfe moved to Winnipeg when he was 12 and later got a law degree from the University of Manitoba.
He eventually got into real estate and now owns a number of properties in both Winnipeg and Saskatoon. Building a hotel is a first for Sharfe, who also owns a car dealership in Saskatoon, where he currently lives.
The new hotel is expected to have its doors open by May 2019.