Developer moves forward with $200 million SkyCity Centre in Winnipeg

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A developer is moving forward with plans for what is described as the tallest free standing structure between Toronto and Calgary.
The forty-storey SkyCity Centre in Winnipega planned $200 million project from Toronto-based Fortress Real Developments, is expected to rise 575 feet at 245 Graham Ave., with 3,888 condos and a six-storey pad including a 25,000 sq. ft. ground floor grocery store. There are also plans for some 30,000-sq. ft. of amenity space and another 60,000-sq. ft of office space.

Senior vice-president Ben Myers said plans announced by Artis REIT to construct a 40-storey rental apartment tower at 300 Main St. should help their push to get shovels in the ground next year.

“I think it makes it easier. It shows that there’s interest and demand in living downtown,” Myers said in a telephone interview with the Winnipeg Sun. “I’m sure they anticipate the demand to fill it. We certainly think there’s enough people that want to live downtown and take advantage of new units that weren’t available to them before. Sometimes the supply has to come first.”

SkyCity has sold about 150 of its 380 units and hopes to get to 200 by the end of the year to secure construction funding. The goal is for occupancy in 2019.

Other downtown condo projects are in the works, including the $400 millionTrue North Square, which has plans for another 275 residential units between two of its four towers with occupancy in 2019-20, along with office, hotel and commercial occupants.

“We see a major return to downtowns,” Myers said. Winnipeg’s is in the “second inning of revitalization” with more nightlife, restaurants and other areas of interest to attract young people.

“I can’t wait. Five years from now, this place is going to be unbelievable,” Doug McKay of Longboat Development Corp., which is partnering with Artis REIT on the Glasshouse project, was quoted as saying. “You have got stuff to do, so the reason (to live downtown) isn’t because you’re a slave to work. There’s actually entertainment options to fill it out,” he said.

Other significant downtown Winnipeg projects include:

  • RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre, with a new Sutton Place Hotel next door.
  • Centrepoint, with the Glasshouse Skylofts, in a $130-million development across from the MTS Centre. Stantec Architecture is the office building’s major tenant.
  • MBLL (Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries) headquarters, in a renovated Medical Arts Building on Kennedy St, with a $66 million, 75,000 sq. ft expansion to the existing 15-story building.

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