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Old Posted May 3, 2018, 5:54 AM
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WpG_GuY WpG_GuY is offline
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Winnipeg|UWCRC 2.0 505 St. Mary Avenue|~14 Floors|Proposed


Project Description
UWCRC 2.0 is currently developing a mixed-use, mixed-income residential tower at the corner of Colony St. and St. Mary Ave. The 505 St. Mary project will be replacing a small commercial building and existing surface parking lot (adjacent to the WAG’s Inuit Art Centre).

The project includes 119 studio, one, two and three bedroom units

– 46 of the units (39%) will be rented at Manitoba affordable rates
– 60 of the units (50%) will be rented at market rates
– 13 (11%) of the units at premium market rates
– At least 10% of the units will be barrier free
– 100% of the units will be visitable
– 4-6 of the units, and associated creator spaces, have been set aside for a visiting artists’ short stay rental program (in collaboration with Artspace Inc.)

The project also includes approximately 3,700ft2 of street level commercial space, fronting Colony Street, St. Mary Avenue and Good Street.

Development Cost
$28.5 million

Main Floor Commercial Opportunities
The 505 St. Mary Avenue project is seeking business owners, entrepreneurs, companies and organizations, interested in opportunities to become ground floor tenants. In particular, we are seeking specialty retail, new food and beverage concepts, neighbourhood-scale commercial uses, and other community services. For more information visit our Request For Expressions of Interest page: Commercial Expression of Interest

Anticipated construction start: Late Spring 2018

Key Participants Owner: UWCRC 2.0 Inc.
Developer: UWCRC 2.0 Inc. Architect: Michael Maltzan Architecture and Cibinel Architecture
Construction Manager: Bockstael Construction Limited

Downtown Commons: the sequel
University of Winnipeg spearheads new mixed-income residential project
By: Murray McNeill
Posted: 08/14/2017
The University of Winnipeg is hoping to duplicate the success of the city’s first truly mixed residential complex — the 102-unit Downtown Commons — by building another one less than a block away.

The proposed new tower would be similar in size to the original 14-storey, $30-million tower and would be built on property the university recently acquired at the corner of St. Mary Avenue and Good Street.

The project is contingent upon the university acquiring financing. The plan is to have the new tower developed by a new non-profit entity — UWCRC 2.0 — which the university created to be a sister organization to its University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corp.

The renewal corporation developed the Downtown Commons and was involved in most of the more than $200 million in infrastructure projects the U of W has undertaken during the past 12 years.

Managing director Sherman Kreiner said until this year the focus has been on meeting the U of W’s infrastructure needs. Now that those needs have mostly been met, the university wants to take the skills and expertise it has gained and assist other organizations that have sustainable infrastructure projects they want to undertake, but do not have the expertise to do it on their own.

"We thought, ‘what do we do with what we’ve created here in terms of competency and experience?’ I think there’s a value to it for the community and a value to it for the university," Kreiner said.

"So we created another not-for-profit development organization (UWCRC 2.0) whose mandate is to do other value-driven, sustainable development, either on our own or with other partners."

The new entity would also provide a new stream of revenue for the university, he said.

Kreiner said the renewal corporation "cut its teeth" working with outside developers when it partnered with community groups to convert the former Merchants Hotel on Selkirk Avenue into a community learning hub and social enterprise café. The project included the construction of 30 units of subsidized student housing.

"That (project) also led us to understand that these skills and experiences and competencies that we have could be valuable in the community," he said.

The new entity’s first outside project involves partnering with Brandon University on a mixed-use and residential development in downtown Brandon. The development likely will include a residential component patterned after the U of W’s Downtown Commons.

The Downtown Commons building at 320 Colony St. includes 102 premium market, affordable and rent-geared-to-income suites. The units range in size from bachelor to three-bedroom suites, and the tenants include students, seniors, Indigenous families, immigrant families, Syrian refugee families and professionals.

Kreiner said the complex, which opened last year, is believed to be unique in Canada for offering high-quality, downtown rental housing for people from a variety of backgrounds and financial circumstances.

"It was fully occupied within three months... and we have a pretty significant waiting list, which is why we feel this could be a replicable model for the neighbourhood. We haven’t fully tapped the demand (for that type of housing)."

Stefano Grande, CEO of the Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone, said another complex like the Downtown Commons would be a welcome addition downtown.

"There is definitely a need for good, affordable housing in our city, never mind downtown," Grande said, adding the fact the Downtown Commons was fully occupied within three months and has an extensive waiting list is proof of that.

He said it’s encouraging to see the U of W launching a new entity that can share its expertise in building sustainable communities.

"I think they’ve discovered that the private sector will not do not-for-profit housing because it’s such a challenge. The numbers don’t work," he said. "So there is demand, and it’s a very specialized skill. It seems the university developed their capability, and the fact that it is now bringing that into the community and helping (other organizations) is wonderful."

Kreiner said UWCRC 2.0 plans to work with other post-secondary organizations and community groups. It’s already working with a number of First Nations groups in Winnipeg and on reserves. It’s getting inquiries from out-of-province universities interested in copying the venture.

"I think we’ll have a series of announcements about this over the next six months or so" he said.

Kreiner said once financing is secure, the plan is to demolish the one-storey building at 505 St. Mary Ave. and begin foundation work this winter. The hope is to have the tower ready for late summer or early fall 2019.

Kreiner and Jeremy Read, chief operating officer of the renewal corporation, said they’re exploring the possibility of including suites for artists in the tower. They said that would tie in nicely with the area, which includes the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the proposed Inuit Art Centre.

Kreiner said there were two commercial tenants in the building at 505 St. Mary Ave. Dessert Sinsations has moved out, but the Perth’s dry-cleaning outlet plans to remain until demolition begins.


Last edited by WpG_GuY; May 3, 2018 at 5:52 PM.
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Old Posted May 3, 2018, 2:12 PM
BigG's Avatar
BigG BigG is offline
Ignore these four words.
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 744
I really like this project and I hope that it happens. It'll inject some more life in that area with University Commons just completed and the extension of the WAG Inuit Art Centre. These are the kind of developments that are needed in our downtown. I'm not hating it at all.
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Old Posted May 4, 2018, 12:01 AM
YWG-RO YWG-RO is offline
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I agree. Looks great.
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Old Posted May 4, 2018, 6:04 AM
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trueviking trueviking is offline
surely you agree with me
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: winnipeg
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I wonder if those tiny black dots are windows.
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Old Posted May 4, 2018, 1:47 PM
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Biff Biff is offline
What could go wrong?
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 5,691
Looks kind of like they are going to build a grain elevator, then convert it to residential by punching some small holes for windows. I know it is a bad image but...

....hard to tell what is going on there.
"But a city can be smothered by too much reverence for its past. The skyline must keep acquiring new peaks, because the day we consider it complete and untouchable is the day the city begins to die." - Justin Davidson - May 2010 Issue of New York
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Old Posted May 4, 2018, 2:01 PM
Urban recluse Urban recluse is offline
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Definitely hard to tell with that rendering what it will actually look like.
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Old Posted May 4, 2018, 3:44 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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So they have four classes of units and 10% of the total units will be barrier free. Wile those barrier free units be spread across the four unit types?

Hopefully at a minimum the affordable units and the creators temporary spaces are included in the barrier free list.
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