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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A couple of updates on some Winnipeg projects...



$80-M Nygard project to revitalize Exchange


Fri Apr 15 2005

By Aldo Santin



CLOTHING manufacturer Peter Nygard is partnering with developer Arni Thorsteinson on an $80-million project that will transform a large section of the East Exchange District with covered shopping malls, new office space and hundreds of residential units.
Nygard said the project, dubbed Nygard Village, will likely take several years to complete. "We'll do it one building at a time," Nygard said in an interview from his island compound in the Bahamas.

The first phase in the project is next Friday's opening of Nygard's new retail concept: a 10,000-square-foot Nygard Fashion World, in the former Athlete's Wear location on Market Avenue.

Subsequent components will include a two-block-long covered atrium along the laneway between James Avenue and Market Avenue from Lily Street to Waterfront Drive, which will include shops and restaurants. The project will likely be concluded with the construction of a covered atrium over Market Avenue from Lily Street to Waterfront Drive.

"This is a very exciting development," Thorsteinson said.

Thorsteinson said he credited the decision by former mayor Glen Murray to stage an international design competition for the East Exchange several years ago. He said that inspired developers and designers to consider how the area could be developed.



"Those were just ideas," Thorsteinson said. "This is possible now because of the substantial investment that (Peter) Nygard is making in their property. Now, we'll be working together."

Thorsteinson said that along with Nygard and a couple of other smaller property owners, the group owns all the property east of Lily to Waterfront, between the south side of James to the south side of Market.

Thorsteinson said when completed, the entire project will represent a $70-million to $80-million investment by the development group. This bigger project began with a $10-million plan by Nygard two years ago to convert the former Athlete's Wear site on Market and an adjoining building on James into a mega-retail outlet that would include a fashion museum and some loft residential units. Since then, however, Nygard has been busy buying up five additional properties on the same block. The last piece was the Kern-Hill Furniture Co-op warehouse at James and Bertha Street.

Meanwhile, Thornsteinson had been working with two other area property owners in a bid to get city hall's approval for a major condominium/retail/office development along Waterfront. But when the Thornsteinson group was unsuccessful, they hooked up with Nygard.

Nygard said he's been quietly promoting residential development in the area during the last two years and believes there is a strong demand. He said most of the buildings he and Thorsteinson control are four- and five-storey structures. He said he sees a combination of retail and office space for the first and second floors and residential units for the remaining levels.

The attractiveness of the area, he said, including the heritage buildings, the river and park system, make a comprehensive development a natural progression.

"We want to make a place where people can work, live, shop and play," Nygard said.

Thorsteinson said although three other major condominium projects are under development nearby along Waterfront, those have yet to receive any planning approvals, while he and Nygard are ready to proceed.

"It's a question of when those others go ahead," Thorsteinson said. "Those others are still in the development process. They don't have approvals."

Nygard said one of the liabilities of the East Exchange is a lack of parking, but that will be corrected. Thorsteinson said he's completing plans for the construction of a 300- to 400-stall parking structure that will serve tenants of the new Nygard Village.

Nygard said the retail outlet on Market won't be completely finished when it opens at the end of next week. However, he said it will be completed by the end of the summer. Nygard said he'll be releasing more details on the Nygard Village proposal in four to six weeks.

Thorsteinson is owner and president of Shelter Canadian Properties Ltd., one of the country's largest apartment building management firms with 9,000 units in 40 buildings, in most of which the firm also has an ownership stake. Shelter is also owner or partner in three hotels and two more that are under construction. Thorsteinson also heads up two real-estate investment trusts.




A super structure

Fashion mogul to create huge Exchange complex

By KATHLEEN MARTENS, BUSINESS REPORTER


Get ready for a slice of New York life in the heart of Winnipeg. A $70-million to $80-million investment by fashion mogul Peter Nygard and local property developer Arni Thorsteinson will transform the east Exchange District into a lifestyle complex.

"It's where you can live and work and shop all in one place," the architect of Nygard Village said yesterday from his compound in the Bahamas.

Food stalls

Nygard's community would not be out of place in downtown New York City. It includes unique lofts, a Nygard museum, fresh food stalls and a two-block covered retail atrium on what was Elgin Avenue.

There will also be apartment complexes, parking lots and office space built over the next four years between Market and James avenues from Lily to Bertha streets, said Thorsteinson.

"It'll be a substantial investment of $70-million to $80-million," he said.

The first phase -- a clothing store and studio for Nygard Fashion Network -- opens next week in the former Athlete's Wear building on Market.

Nygard, who started his career and ladies fashion empire in Winnipeg, said the seven heritage buildings he has bought offer more than enough raw material to make his vision a reality.

Because architecture is one of his passions, the textile magnate has been advising on all aspects of the project.

"This will be a total cultural centre," he said of the new life the development will breathe into the theatre and museum district. "You could be strolling home, pick up fresh veggies and take a walk in the (waterfront Stephen Juba) park."

The Nygard Museum will tell the rags-to-riches story of Nygard, a Finnish immigrant whose first Canadian home was a small coal shed in the southwestern Manitoba town of Deloraine. The store will showcase the latest designs offered by the global ladies' wear maker.

The work the city has done to build Waterfront Drive and create a climate for revitalization are key elements of the project, said Nygard, noting his plan has expanded in scope since first being revealed last year.

Construction is also taking longer than originally expected. Nygard said the challenge of bringing older structures up to modern standards has contributed to the delay.

But he promised the end result would be worth it.

"There won't be anything like (these lofts) in the city. The brick, the wood ... these structures are being restored to their original beauty."

The cost and sizes of the lofts was not yet available.

Other developers have also expressed interest in getting involved in the development plans, Nygard said.





New face for city
High-tech design wins competition$100M for rights museum

Fri Apr 15 2005

By Paul Samyn and David O'Brien



OTTAWA -- The federal government will announce today it is now prepared to contribute $100 million for the capital costs of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Free Press has learned.

The federal funding, which is key to making the dream of Winnipeg's Asper family a reality, will also come with an announcement that New Mexico architect Antoine Predock has won the international design competition for the signature structure to be built at The Forks.

Predock's design is a complicated architectural and engineering marvel that features a tower rising 100 metres into the sky, nearly as tall as the highrises at Portage and Main.

Some people have had a hard time understanding his unusual design, which is actually carved into the earth before rising on a stone base and dissolving into an abstract array of glass, topped by a soaring spire.

Predock has called it "a symbolic apparition of ice, clouds and stone." The full design will be unveiled today at 10:30 a.m. in a gala announcement at the Centennial Concert Hall before an estimated 1,000 people. The public is welcome to attend.

Senior federal sources say the offer of a further $70 million in federal funding -- which comes on top of $30 million Ottawa has already pledged -- will be tied to the project meeting certain fundraising targets.

"Ottawa is getting closer to the capital (required) with strings attached to make this work," said one source.

Among those strings will be certain conditions regarding the governance model for the museum.


"There is lots of fundraising still required by everyone including the private sector." The new museum would be part of a downtown renaissance that includes an $80-million project detailed yesterday by clothing manufacturer Peter Nygard and developer Arni Thorsteinson. They plan to transform a large section of the East Exchange District with covered shopping malls, new office space and hundreds of residential units.

A host of recent projects are fuelling a rebirth in the city's core. These include the MTS Centre, expansions by Red River College and the University of Winnipeg, a new Manitoba Hydro office tower, construction of the new Millennium Library, and a $25-million office building for the Credit Union Central of Manitoba.

Family patriarch Israel Asper's vision of a human-rights museum comes with a price tag now nearing $300 million, which initially called for Ottawa to provide some $12 million in annual operating funding.

The demand for ongoing operating funding was always a non-starter for the federal government. However, as the Free Press reported last month, Ottawa believes it has found a possible solution by having the Aspers broaden the mandate of the museum to become what is envisaged as an international think-tank on human rights consistent with Prime Minister Paul Martin's ambition of having Canada play a bigger role on the world stage.

Another senior political source said by broadening the mandate, the museum will be able to draw on federal programming dollars from other departments to help cover its bottom line.

Today's announcement, to be made by Treasury Board President Reg Alcock, caps a remarkable year of twists and turns as Asper's family waged a campaign both publicly and privately to lever an additional $70 million from the Martin Liberals.

Project champion

There was no shortage of harsh words back and forth as project champion Gail Asper accused the Liberals of breaking a promise first made by Jean Chrétien as prime minister that Ottawa's $30 million would be an initial down payment on a federal commitment to fund 50 per cent of the project's total costs.

The funding announcement is also another big political win for Alcock (Winnipeg South) and comes just a year after he fought to bring the headquarters of Canada's new Public Health Agency to Winnipeg's federal disease lab. To date, Ottawa has committed $27 million in capital funding plus $2.3 million for developmental costs. Ottawa also paid $700,000 for a feasibility study. Both the province and city hall have each pledged $20 million.

Meanwhile, if all the funding falls into place and assuming an election doesn't throw a wrench into the Aspers' plans, the project could be finished in about five years, according to Gail Asper, chairwoman of the group building the museum.

Predock has developed an international reputation for the wide range of museums, universities, performing arts centres, hotels, libraries and science centres he has built around the world.

One magazine article referred to him as a "desert rat" because the dry, barren expanse and big sky of New Mexico and its aboriginal heritage have had a decisive influence on his work over the years.

"Lessons learned in the American southwest apply anywhere in the world," Predock says on his website, predock.com. "My 'regionalism' is portable."

His design for Winnipeg seems to have incorporated some of those elements, while respecting that the city is a land of ice and snow for a good part of the year.

The concepts of earth, sky, nature, water, light and aboriginal themes are all incorporated.

Visitors will enter the building between symbolic roots of protective stone arms. Those roots, Predock said in an earlier presentation, will also create a framework for ceremonial outdoor events.

The upper portion of the museum is encased in a complicated and abstract array of glass. In Predock's poetic language, the glass is described as "the ephemeral wings of a white dove (embracing) a mythic stone mountain... in the creation of a unifying and timeless landmark for all nations and cultures of the world."

Smith Carter Architects and Engineers of Winnipeg won a secondary competition to work with Predock on the design.
 

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Great news for ol'Peg!!
Beautiful city with some great archeitecture that it has keep't in tacked {unlike Vancouver}. Nice to see the city on the come-back trail.
 

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New face for city
High-tech design wins competition$100M for rights museum

Fri Apr 15 2005

By Paul Samyn and David O'Brien



OTTAWA -- The federal government will announce today it is now prepared to contribute $100 million for the capital costs of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Free Press has learned.

The federal funding, which is key to making the dream of Winnipeg's Asper family a reality, will also come with an announcement that New Mexico architect Antoine Predock has won the international design competition for the signature structure to be built at The Forks.

Predock's design is a complicated architectural and engineering marvel that features a tower rising 100 metres into the sky, nearly as tall as the highrises at Portage and Main.

Some people have had a hard time understanding his unusual design, which is actually carved into the earth before rising on a stone base and dissolving into an abstract array of glass, topped by a soaring spire.

Predock has called it "a symbolic apparition of ice, clouds and stone." The full design will be unveiled today at 10:30 a.m. in a gala announcement at the Centennial Concert Hall before an estimated 1,000 people. The public is welcome to attend.

Senior federal sources say the offer of a further $70 million in federal funding -- which comes on top of $30 million Ottawa has already pledged -- will be tied to the project meeting certain fundraising targets.

"Ottawa is getting closer to the capital (required) with strings attached to make this work," said one source.

Among those strings will be certain conditions regarding the governance model for the museum.


"There is lots of fundraising still required by everyone including the private sector." The new museum would be part of a downtown renaissance that includes an $80-million project detailed yesterday by clothing manufacturer Peter Nygard and developer Arni Thorsteinson. They plan to transform a large section of the East Exchange District with covered shopping malls, new office space and hundreds of residential units.

A host of recent projects are fuelling a rebirth in the city's core. These include the MTS Centre, expansions by Red River College and the University of Winnipeg, a new Manitoba Hydro office tower, construction of the new Millennium Library, and a $25-million office building for the Credit Union Central of Manitoba.

Family patriarch Israel Asper's vision of a human-rights museum comes with a price tag now nearing $300 million, which initially called for Ottawa to provide some $12 million in annual operating funding.

The demand for ongoing operating funding was always a non-starter for the federal government. However, as the Free Press reported last month, Ottawa believes it has found a possible solution by having the Aspers broaden the mandate of the museum to become what is envisaged as an international think-tank on human rights consistent with Prime Minister Paul Martin's ambition of having Canada play a bigger role on the world stage.

Another senior political source said by broadening the mandate, the museum will be able to draw on federal programming dollars from other departments to help cover its bottom line.

Today's announcement, to be made by Treasury Board President Reg Alcock, caps a remarkable year of twists and turns as Asper's family waged a campaign both publicly and privately to lever an additional $70 million from the Martin Liberals.

Project champion

There was no shortage of harsh words back and forth as project champion Gail Asper accused the Liberals of breaking a promise first made by Jean Chrétien as prime minister that Ottawa's $30 million would be an initial down payment on a federal commitment to fund 50 per cent of the project's total costs.

The funding announcement is also another big political win for Alcock (Winnipeg South) and comes just a year after he fought to bring the headquarters of Canada's new Public Health Agency to Winnipeg's federal disease lab. To date, Ottawa has committed $27 million in capital funding plus $2.3 million for developmental costs. Ottawa also paid $700,000 for a feasibility study. Both the province and city hall have each pledged $20 million.

Meanwhile, if all the funding falls into place and assuming an election doesn't throw a wrench into the Aspers' plans, the project could be finished in about five years, according to Gail Asper, chairwoman of the group building the museum.

Predock has developed an international reputation for the wide range of museums, universities, performing arts centres, hotels, libraries and science centres he has built around the world.

One magazine article referred to him as a "desert rat" because the dry, barren expanse and big sky of New Mexico and its aboriginal heritage have had a decisive influence on his work over the years.

"Lessons learned in the American southwest apply anywhere in the world," Predock says on his website, predock.com. "My 'regionalism' is portable."

His design for Winnipeg seems to have incorporated some of those elements, while respecting that the city is a land of ice and snow for a good part of the year.

The concepts of earth, sky, nature, water, light and aboriginal themes are all incorporated.

Visitors will enter the building between symbolic roots of protective stone arms. Those roots, Predock said in an earlier presentation, will also create a framework for ceremonial outdoor events.

The upper portion of the museum is encased in a complicated and abstract array of glass. In Predock's poetic language, the glass is described as "the ephemeral wings of a white dove (embracing) a mythic stone mountain... in the creation of a unifying and timeless landmark for all nations and cultures of the world."

Smith Carter Architects and Engineers of Winnipeg won a secondary competition to work with Predock on the design.














It looks confusing, strange and ugly on the monitor, Hopefully the real one will turn out better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Between the Raleigh Apartments on Vaugn/Ellice/Webb Place and the Booth College, construction has begun on a 19 unit industrial-style loft condo building. It looks pretty funky, and is a good step in helping revitalize the area!
 

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I have to admit that today was a pretty good day for Winnipeg developments. Damned good to see though.
 

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Its rare to here news like this in Winnipeg. We still have the Mb Hydro building, airport terminal and new stadium to look out for. Webb place is a great place to see developments to take place. Places of learning do seem to provide a boost in developments in their surrounding areas. (U of W and Booth College in this example). U Manitoba has its own building boom happening. (New engineering complex and the Richardson Centre for neutraceuticals). The exchange district is seeing its own activity. There is also the former Wise Guys building getting an addition. Anyone hear any news on the Union Bank tower lately. Wasn't there a developor who recently planned to convert it into office space-and add a new structure on the King St. side?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I remember hearing that the renos on the Union Bank building would begin in June. I have not heard anything more about the addition behind it though...

We just bought a house on Furby, and our real estate agent said that we should begin seeing many more infils being built in the Spence area/west end. This is great! I also want to see some mixed use structures go up around here (a la Webb Place condos, etc). Sargent and Ellice are so dreary for the most part, as there has not been an infusion of new-builds here.
 

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The Human Rights Museum design is amazing and it will certainly be a prominent landmark. I am so happy that these great projects are happening despite the stupidity that is occuring right now at city hall. Maybe Winnipeg is past the tipping point.

Protest against Waverley West at 11:30 on Monday April 18th at the Legislature.
 

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Whatever happened to the development that was supposed to go up on the west pad of Portage Place? Is it still a go or has it been shelved?

By the way Haber, why protest against Waverley West?
 

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Excuse me, but why is Nygaard opening a mall in winnipeg?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Think of it more as a market than a mall...perhaps you have heard of the Forks in Winnipeg? It is similar to that except if will have residential. As for why...well, his business empire began in Winnipeg, and much of his company is located here, so essentially he is contributing to downtown revitalization. From his website:

The vision is to be the other end of (what is considered) the Forks area. We would like to be the anchor on this side of the river. We’ll call it the Nygård Market Place where we’ll have quaint shops and a marketplace with fresh fruits, meats, bakeries and a barber shop,” he said. “Bring it back to the good old days in the 50s and 60s. We want to give it a country culture and bring it back to the way life was back then. It’s a beautiful walk along the river from the Forks to here. There are all kinds of nice buildings, discotheques and restaurants here.”

Nygård Market Square will also feature a fashion museum showcasing different clothing from the past five decades, the evolution of sewing equipment and other fashion-related memorabilia.


Last night on Global News, reference was made to the Portage Place development, although no date. Shelter Canadian's website reveals next year (2006)....

http://www.scpl.com/news_releases/February 7 2005 .pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It is a massive subdivision being planned for southwest Winnipeg, just at the outskirts of the city. Well, on one hand, developers are bitching because the city is running out of lots, but on the other, there are many lots spread across the city--just not in one area where developers make the most money!
 

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ssiguy2 said:
What's Waverly West and why should people be demonstrating against it?
A huge development planned for southwest Winnipeg. At full build-out it will have about 13,000 homes and 50,000 people.

Currently the south end of Winnipeg is the fastest growing area and the south-west in particular. The problem is that we are almost out of building lots in that section. Apparently we have about a year's supply if not less. Winnipeg started growing again and nobody actually thought we'd need this by now so we're in a pickle.
Some people argue that there are lots all across the city that should be developed. That's fine except that people aren't going to choose another area of the city to build their lot if they can't get what they want...they'll go elsewhere. In Winnipeg's case, elsewhere is outside the city boundaries. Ergo, neighbouring municipalities will grow and we in the city will lose out on the tax revenue we so desperately need.

Other people argue that this is just more urban sprawl. Well, it's not exactly. The densities planned for this development are greater than the current city average so as these things go, it certainly isn't sprawl the way we have come to think of it.
Lastly, this wouldn't even be an issue if the city had just approved the develoment piece-meal style instead of announcing this vast new suburb. In other words, if the city had simply approved one small development at a time (as opposed to announcing a giant master-planned extension of the city) nobody would have thought much about it IMO.

As it stands right now my only concern with this proposed suburb is that there will be legitimate concerns regarding traffic volumes.As it stands right now the area is already notorious in the city for it's horrendous traffic but some of the problem is being alleviated with an over-pass soon to be constructed over a busy section of railway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
New houses may push out Hells Angels
Neighbours hope development means biker clubhouse will go

Mon Apr 18 2005

By Bruce Owen



NEIGHBOURS hope that surrounding the Hells Angels gated compound with 245 new homes and a new school will accomplish what law enforcement hasn't -- make the bikers want to shut their clubhouse.
Developers plan to build on vacant lots around the clubhouse and Seven Oaks School Division is building a new high school to accommodate up to 800 students.

If everything is approved -- a public meeting is scheduled Wednesday -- the shovels should be in the ground in a year.

The new 72-acre development is called River Ridge. It will also see Scotia Avenue extended to Ridgecrest Avenue and a river-trail system built that links the neighbourhood to Kildonan Park.

What it means for the Hells Angels is a complete loss of privacy.

"We'd like to see them gone," Lombard North Group Ltd. spokesman David Palubeski said yesterday. "It'll make it easier for us to sell houses." The developers are Green View Homes of Calgary and Coral Reef Homes of Winnipeg.

Residents who live near the gated Hells Angels compound at 2679 Scotia Ave. said they're ecstatic with the developers' plans.

"We're delighted," one resident said. "It can't happen soon enough. We hope it encourages our 'neighbours' to leave."

The residents said they routinely complain to police about late-night noise generated by the Hells Angels, local driveways and lawns used as an overflow parking lot and the threat to their safety.

One resident said the bikers recently hired a front-end loader to remove snow from the street in the middle of the night, keeping everyone awake.

Seven Oaks School Division superintendent Brian O'Leary said the new 95,000-square-foot high school will be built just north of Kildonan Community Church at 2373 Main St. It will replace West Kildonan Collegiate, several blocks south. There is also a plan to build a new elementary school nearby.

O'Leary said the Hells Angels clubhouse just doesn't fit in with plans for the area.

"There will be 15 to 20 homes built with their decks overlooking their clubhouse," he said.

The new school and development, plus a new Red River Community Club across the street, will completely change the face of north Main Street, Palubeski said.

New retail space, and perhaps low-level apartment blocks, will be linked by pathways to the school and homes, he said.

"We want to balance the use of automobiles," he added. "We want people to get out and walk. We're trying to create a village."

Plans for River Ridge will be unveiled at a public open house Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Riverbend School Library, 123 Red River Blvd. West.

City of Winnipeg planner David Marsh said anyone can participate, including the Hells Angels.

"All landowners within the plan, we need to take into account their land," he said. The Hells Angels bought the property in mid-2001 and unveiled it as their clubhouse Dec. 15 that year. It's used for club meetings and to stage parties when gang members visit from out of province.

The Hells Angels have kept a low profile for the most part and have tried to get along with neighbours, but local residents say the threat they pose is too great.

"There are children who can't play on the front street anymore," another resident said.

The assessment for the nine-room, 2,865-square-foot custom bungalow jumped to $214,000 from $190,900 in the recent property re-evaluation.

The registered owner of the clubhouse -- he's not a Hells Angels member, but is described as a sympathizer -- was unavailable for comment.

Residents have complained that the value of their homes plummeted more than 20 per cent when the Hells Angels moved into the neighbourhood.

They said people are afraid to sell their homes because they'll lose money and also because the homes could be snapped up by other Hells Angels sympathizers, so the bikers can expand their compound.





Mon, April 18, 2005


Makeover madness?

Main Street hotel bans booze, focuses on healing

By ROCHELLE SQUIRES, STAFF REPORTER




It's been an extreme makeover for a notorious Main Street hotel. Young artists and musicians, elder spiritual guides and sundance chiefs are replacing the crack addicts and glue sniffers that used to loiter in the 115-year-old barroom at the New Occidental Hotel, said owner Richard Walls.

"We're really overstepping our bounds in what a hotel does," said Walls, who bought the hotel in November 2002 with a dream of turning it into a clean-living artists' village, a social club and spiritual healing centre.

"We're trying to heal the wounds of the past generations.

It will be a cultural learning experience -- a place where elders will give guidance, we'll have prayer ceremonies."

The new inn has been renamed The Red Road Lodge, which means drug and alcohol free in certain aboriginal cultures.

'MULTI-CULTURAL PLACE'

It will be completely booze-free by the end of the month, with the exception of a licence for special banquets, said Wall.

"We've done a series of dry runs while figuring out what to do with the space," said Walls, who is confident most patrons are ready for a complete booze ban.

The new owner wants people from all cultures, religions, races and ethnic backgrounds to feel welcome at the lodge.

"I want this to be a multi-cultural place and to get rid of the 'us versus them' stigma," he said.

The making of the new lodge has not been easy or cheap for Walls, who has invested more than $500,000 and nearly two years of time into the Main Street makeover.

"We're showing that there is an alternative to the street, but unfortunately it's not very profitable," he said.

"But somebody had to do it."

Walls said earning money on his investment with the Main Street hotel is not his primary concern.

"I'm a survivor, and money has never been that important to me. I don't get joy from looking at a stock certificate. But here, I have a real sense of satisfaction," said Walls, adding the opportunity to change someone's life is more important to him than making money.

Patrick Ross, a young artist who uses the multi-purpose room at the lodge to do his paintings, said the new lodge is having a positive impact on his life.

"It's a place to hang out where you don't have to worry about people doing drugs," said Ross.

But keeping the drug dealers away from the building continues to be a challenge for the resident gatekeeper.

"The crackheads come and spit at me, the loan sharks come in on welfare day looking for money from poor people," said Lee Holleron.

"They're not very happy when I ask me to leave."

So far, the lodge has received about $500,000 from the government under affordable housing initiatives to support the 50-plus suites, which offer short and long term housing for people.

Walls and Holleron both hope the transformation of a booze-filled watering hole to a place of healing and growth will continue to flourish.

"We're just getting started. There will be more announcements to come," said Walls.
 

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Okay, so in terms of actual development happenings, what's going on?

Hydro Tower is for sure. Nygard is more or less in the bag. Waterfront drive buildings should start this summer. New museum is getting closer and appears to be on track. Airport terminal is a go. New residential in St. Boniface (two towers) are certain (one is already starting the site prep) Looks like some activity in Fort Rouge near the Village. Tons of re-development for the Exchange and picking up. There's bound to be more but that's all I can think of right now.

What I really want to know about though is what is coming down the pike. Any plans of larger scale projects (like the West Pad of Portage Place for instance) ? Seems like there have got to be a lot more people planning developments that haven't been disclosed to the public yet. Just wondering if anybody has any word on that sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Concerning the proposed pedestrian village along Spence, I emailed Jennifer Ratray about it, and the last I heard was that they were going to apply to the city on Feb 28 for the restriction of traffic along Spence...if that was allowed, they were going to go back to the community and the campus with various designs for feedback, etc. I will email her again...

I also emailed the west end biz about the transformation of Sargent into the Portugese-style village, but I have not heard back....
 

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It appears the Aspers have bought the rest of Canwest Global Tower and the adjoining properties that go with it. Apparently they say there is more to come and it's 'exciting'. Anyone know what they have planned?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
City lab doubling disease fighters
$20-M expansion will house 300 new experts

Thu Apr 21 2005

By Paul Samyn



OTTAWA -- The federal government is preparing to add 300 scientists and support workers to Winnipeg's federal disease lab and house them in a $20-million, eight-storey expansion to be built next door.
The expansion will double the number of people working in public health at the Arlington Street lab and is seen as key to strengthening the command and control centre for the country's defence system against infectious diseases.

"What we want to do over time is increase the capacity there, not just in terms of infectious disease, but also in terms of broad public health and we will need space to do that," Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer, said in an interview yesterday.

"There is no question about the commitment to Winnipeg as the headquarters and the base for the chief medical officer and that capacity needs to increase," he said.

As the man in charge of creating Canada's public health agency, Butler-Jones has been readying a multi-year plan for the country's only Level 4 (highest protection) lab as well as identifying and freezing vacant staff positions within Health Canada that can then be used for hiring scientists, administrators and other experts in Winnipeg.

Beyond the new office space proposed as an eight-storey structure, there is also a plan for a fourth pod of Level 4 space at the downtown facility. The office expansion is far beyond the drawing board and has already passed several government hurdles as it moves through the capital approval process.

Terry Duguid, president of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, said the new office building is critical to unlocking the city's economic future.

"This is a realization of the vision of CDC North as we are finally seeing bricks and mortar, which will make this a reality," said Duguid.

"This is a tangible demonstration of that commitment and it will kick-start BioMed City's development."

BioMed City is being planned for land between the National Microbiology Laboratories on Arlington Street and the Health Sciences Centre on William Avenue. As envisaged by its proponents, BioMed City would be a campus crammed with public and private investment, all geared to the research, development, commercialization and training needed for bio-medical industries.

The centrepiece of BioMed City is the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, which began in Winnipeg in the past year and is trying to drum up public and private investment in vaccine research and development, and commercialization. Duguid said the arrival of the additional scientific staff will create a "virtuous circle" that will result in further high-paying jobs landing in the city.

"This is going to bring talent to our city and knowledge workers that are going to help build the knowledge economy in Winnipeg," said Duguid.

"Not only will we be attracting people, we will also be retaining our young people so that those who are talented won't have to leave the province to get a high-paying job."

About 300 scientists and other staff are already employed in public health at the lab, which includes the Public Health Agency of Canada and the National Microbiology Laboratory. An additional 200 employees are part of Agriculture Canada's research facility at the site.

It was nearly one year ago that Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Winnipeg had won the bidding war to become the Canadian version of the world-renowned Atlanta Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

However, there have long been concerns that senior bureaucrats in Health Canada and elsewhere within the federal government never fully bought into Martin's vision to have Winnipeg's disease lab serve as the command and control centre for the new agency.

The expansion plans Butler-Jones is successfully pushing through the system should put an end to any talk within Ottawa that Winnipeg won't be running the public health show.

The National Microbiology Laboratory earlier this month was credited with helping avert a flu pandemic by discovering that labs around the world were sent unlabelled samples of an influenza virus that could have sparked the next global health catastrophe.

In February, the lab officially unveiled its $3-million crisis room that will be the nerve centre that plots, plans and co-ordinates Canada's response to the next contagious-disease outbreak.
 
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