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  #41  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2016, 1:44 AM
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Hey, if the owners can turn it around and attract better retailers, more power to 'em.
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  #42  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2016, 6:10 AM
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Hey, if the owners can turn it around and attract better retailers, more power to 'em.
You highlight one of the biggest parts of the problem .

....which is why I think that the True North Square and the new ALT hotel kind of give me hope that a new demographic will help change the area a little bit more.
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  #43  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2016, 7:33 PM
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TBH I'd rather see the remaining surface lots behind Portage Place (on the Promenade) filled with residential and/or office (even though we don't need much right now) before anything goes on top of the mall. Build some 10-15 storey apartments there with streetfront CRUs, you could actually make something out of the Promenade. And don't do ones like in the existing apartments where they're setback indoors and you can't really even see the stores.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2017, 7:16 PM
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I passed through Portage Place today and noticed their signs now have a little 30th anniversary logo. Hard to believe it's been that long!

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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2017, 7:44 PM
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oh god.. as if anyone is celebrating this disaster!
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2017, 8:01 PM
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And it still boasts the same decor oh my lord.
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  #47  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 6:17 PM
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oh god.. as if anyone is celebrating this disaster!
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Sad but true. Less than a year after it opened, it was already having problems.
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  #48  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 7:09 PM
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It was very naive in thinking it would work. The millions spent on the mall would have been better spent granting property owners the funds to redevelop the small buildings PP replaced.
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  #49  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 7:14 PM
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It was very naive in thinking it would work. The millions spent on the mall would have been better spent granting property owners the funds to redevelop the small buildings PP replaced.
In addition to that, Eaton Place and Winnipeg Square already served the Downtown area. Three malls in that small of an area was not a wise decision.
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  #50  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 7:17 PM
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Good point, so true.
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  #51  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 7:52 PM
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^ On paper it had everything, retail, restaurants, entertainment, highrise residential, office space, parking, a pedestrian promenade, space for future hotel and office development... I don't think it was obvious that Portage Place would fail.

In some ways, though, it was a victim of bad timing... I'd argue that downtown Winnipeg hit rock bottom around 1997... well, if you go a decade in either direction from that year, you perfectly capture the first 20 years of Portage Place's existence. By the time things started improving noticeably downtown in the mid 00s, Portage Place was already looking pretty tired and worn out, and downtown retail was on its last legs.
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  #52  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 9:43 PM
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^Very true. The North Portage development was well thought out and had all the right elements, but it wasn't enough to turn the tide. Also problematic was the fact the all the residential behind the mall bordered the Central Park neighbourhood. In the early 90s, friends I knew who lived in those highrises were scared to walk around their buildings at night and simply drove in and out of underground parkade and never engaged with the local community as a pedestrian.

Also, keep in mind that Polo Park doubled in size at roughly the same time and really began to pull retail and shoppers away from the downtown. Until the early 90s, Eatons and The Bay downtown had the edge over the smaller stores in the suburbs, but that all changed pretty quickly, especially when Eatons folded.

As you say, poor timing. If a similar development was proposed today with all these elements - hundreds of residential units, nearly 100 retail units, movie theatres, restaurants, outdoor pedestrian promenades with street level storefronts, etc. all connected to the downtown skywalk system -- I'm sure we would all think it was the greatest thing ever for downtown. Heck, we'd call it True North Square.
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  #53  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 11:14 PM
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^ On paper it had everything, retail, restaurants, entertainment, highrise residential, office space, parking, a pedestrian promenade, space for future hotel and office development... I don't think it was obvious that Portage Place would fail.

In some ways, though, it was a victim of bad timing... I'd argue that downtown Winnipeg hit rock bottom around 1997... well, if you go a decade in either direction from that year, you perfectly capture the first 20 years of Portage Place's existence. By the time things started improving noticeably downtown in the mid 00s, Portage Place was already looking pretty tired and worn out, and downtown retail was on its last legs.
Coincidentally that is one year after the Jets departed for Phoenix. Economically it had little impact on the city, but the psychological impact, especially the effects on young people under 30 cannot be measured. Many were convinced Winnipeg had no future, and decided to look elsewhere in Canada. Obviously not the main reason, but it could have been a deciding factor for motivated young people who were fresh out of post-secondary institutions.

Yes, if you look at the statistics, Winnipeg lost people in 1996 and 1997. The only two years on record this has happened. In fact, Winnipeg grew by a total of 19,000 people in an entire decade. Now the city is growing by nearly 15,000 a year. Times change, but I'm not so sure Portage Place would have worked even with a booming economy, in retrospect.
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  #54  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 11:18 PM
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Also problematic was the fact the all the residential behind the mall bordered the Central Park neighbourhood.
It wasn't just that. The three towers of Fort Garry Place opened at the same time. And the suites in FGP were simply better (In-suite laundry, pool/hot tub/exercise complex, free satellite TV, etc.) for the same price. I know this because I checked out both and moved into FGP in '87.

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Originally Posted by Authentic_City View Post
If a similar development was proposed today with all these elements - hundreds of residential units, nearly 100 retail units, movie theatres, restaurants, outdoor pedestrian promenades with street level storefronts, etc. all connected to the downtown skywalk system -- I'm sure we would all think it was the greatest thing ever for downtown. Heck, we'd call it True North Square.
This is what first attracted me to Place Promenade. I was working in the Manitoba Health offices above Eaton Place, and it would have been great to walk to work in the winter without going outdoors. Alas, some parts of the skywalk route wouldn't have been open in the morning.

So I went with FGP. Restaurant up top, a plus pizza joint, grocery store, chocolate shop, MPIC, parking and a variety of other services within the building.
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  #55  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2017, 11:31 PM
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Coincidentally that is one year after the Jets departed for Phoenix. Economically it had little impact on the city, but the psychological impact, especially the effects on young people under 30 cannot be measured.
I helped out in the '95 provincial election for a family friend who was running for the NDP in Ste. Rose.

I'm still astounded at the number of people who told us that they wanted to vote NDP, but only the Conservatives were guaranteeing that the Jets would stay in Manitoba. It was pretty much the only election issue.
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  #56  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 4:06 AM
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I don't think the Jets thing caused the mid 90s malaise, but I would say that it reflected what was going on. There was just a convergence of different bad news stories for Winnipeg that for a while made things feel as though Winnipeg was about to fall into serious decline.
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  #57  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 4:37 AM
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I helped out in the '95 provincial election for a family friend who was running for the NDP in Ste. Rose.

I'm still astounded at the number of people who told us that they wanted to vote NDP, but only the Conservatives were guaranteeing that the Jets would stay in Manitoba. It was pretty much the only election issue.
What about the 1,000,000 fired Nurses the NDP has been going on about for the last 25 years?
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  #58  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 4:53 AM
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What about the 1,000,000 fired Nurses the NDP has been going on about for the last 25 years?
That was more of an issue - or at least the union spent a lot more money on it - in the next election.
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  #59  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 2:29 PM
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What about the 1,000,000 fired Nurses the NDP has been going on about for the last 25 years?
With that thinking. Then we should be waiting for the city to fall apart with the cons closing emergency wards left and right.
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  #60  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2017, 3:46 PM
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That was more of an issue - or at least the union spent a lot more money on it - in the next election.
They're still at it. I can't believe the number of ads they run daily on CJOB. They must have a fortune in their war chest. I certainly hope their 'the sky is falling' mantra does not fool the electorate come the next provincial election. Manitoba was well on its way to becoming Canada's Greece with the NDP running the show.
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