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  #61  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2007, 5:57 AM
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DizzyEdge - The Exchange District wasn't in the best shape 15-20 years ago from what I recall...could be mistaken though. However, when I worked/lived at Portage and Main in 03/04 and went there a lot in the evening, etc...it is indeed in nice shape, and very little vacancy (as TV mentioned). It's very much worth while to check out - as it is unique on the Prairies (for its size)...and, I'd take a guess that it's even larger (and IMO, much nicer) than Gastown area in Van.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2007, 6:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DizzyEdge View Post
The reason I asked if downtown winnipeg could use some more class A office space, is here in Calgary Neil Richardson and his company have restored several properties (Lorraine apts, Lougheed building) into office space, his general modus operandi is to gut most of the building and bring up to the highest spec, while restoring the outside and maybe the lobby and first couple floors back to original. He's recently been buying properties in smaller town outside calgary as he's sorta run out of projects in town, I wonder if Winnipeg could use his touch.
I've honestly had a tough time making the distinction between Class A, B and C space. Isn't most converted heritage space usually Class C?

I think if you take all the abandoned/vacant buildings out of the equation there is a very low vacancy rate in the Exchange. These Class C buildings are great inexpensive business incubators.

I know there are a lot of developers interested in Winnipeg lately, from out of town. As there are fewer opportunities in other cities, ours finally are becoming more attractive.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2007, 3:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
http://www.cbre.ca/NR/rdonlyres/C68A...peg1q07ofc.pdf

class A 8% vacancy

the indicators are all there for greater demand for office space...job growth, economic growth, population growth, but it doesnt ever seem to come to fruition....18 months ago CBRE predicted 1 million square feet of new office space would be needed in winnipeg....still waiting.

http://www.dcnonl.com/article/20051007200
Doesn't the new Hydro Building count as new office space??

Once they vacate the other buildings there could be a glut of new space.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2007, 1:29 AM
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yup it was comic world briefly....it moved there from the exchange when i was a kid.

i didnt know it was only a facade....

its not... it's a shell...
it has four walls and an intact roof - the interior is a blank canvas
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  #65  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2007, 1:37 AM
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yea its a shell prity much there was pics of its interior on flickr... that i posted the forums last year...
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  #66  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2007, 2:29 AM
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I've updated my Main Street shot even more. Any smugness one might feel about Winnipeg's preservation of its historical buildings is kind of deflated by this. I remember when they demolished that entire block of Main Street south of Portage all at once, to be replaced with nothing. Not to say that it looked that great by the 70s, but if you could imagine it restored in the way that Princess Street has been restored, the city would have an amenity worth a lot more than a crappy looking office tower (and a whole block's worth of ventilation shafts and emergency exits from the underground mall). Also, this pic makes the demolition of the TD-Childs-Nanton corner appear to verge on the criminal. The irony is that most of that office space wasn't really needed anyway. TD was gone from the city within a few years.

I think the lesson is that when you build a few buildings that are totally out of scale with the rest of the city, you can end up making the whole look smaller rather than larger.



Large
Huge

I still have a way to go with this, and am not sure about everything yet.

Here is Main Street south from Portage in 1900. By comparison with the above picture, you can see that by 1928 only the first few buildings south of Portage have been replaced with much larger ones. The pressure to build bigger buildings quickly dissipated and this block remained much the same for decades.

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  #67  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2007, 9:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy6 View Post
I've updated my Main Street shot even more...
That aerial photo amazes me every time I see it. It seems like every modern tower at Portage and Main took out chunks of the city, with demolition eventually extending far beyond the new skyscraper's floorplate. It wasn't for the growing need for a greater concentration of office space, but for the city's general pre-occupation with winning that golden ticket and being "like other cities" that allowed them to demolish--even into the late '80s and early '90s--what would be the southern HALF of the Exchange District.

Here's a photo of Portage and Main from the south, c. 1948:
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  #68  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2007, 2:03 AM
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That aerial photo amazes me every time I see it. It seems like every modern tower at Portage and Main took out chunks of the city, with demolition eventually extending far beyond the new skyscraper's floorplate. It wasn't for the growing need for a greater concentration of office space, but for the city's general pre-occupation with winning that golden ticket and being "like other cities" that allowed them to demolish--even into the late '80s and early '90s--what would be the southern HALF of the Exchange District.

Here's a photo of Portage and Main from the south, c. 1948:
While it is true that some of the old buildings were very impresive. The fact is the tenants of some of those buildings wanted newer, larger and more modern work environments. TD who leased a good part of that corner required new office space. Winnipeg's highly recognized intersection was is high demand by those same leading tenants. Either way, the probability of those buildings being occupied beyond levels of the Union Building (old Royal Bank Building) today, is not very high. Winnipeg may have only forgone its place in the modern advancement of commercial space.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2007, 2:30 AM
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While it is true that some of the old buildings were very impresive. The fact is the tenants of some of those buildings wanted newer, larger and more modern work environments. TD who leased a good part of that corner required new office space. Winnipeg's highly recognized intersection was is high demand by those same leading tenants. Either way, the probability of those buildings being occupied beyond levels of the Union Building (old Royal Bank Building) today, is not very high. Winnipeg may have only forgone its place in the modern advancement of commercial space.
Sadly, you are probably right.

I still don't understand why europeans can appreciate and embrace old buildings and we can't. Even for office space.
Somehow we can't stand a little crack here and there or the minor inconvenience. The Grain Exchange Building for example, had it's interior butchered with cheap drywall and linoleum floors. Why can't we love the old and worn wooden floors like a European would? Why can't we love the old cracked ceilings?
Somehow when we go to Paris and a building has a dirty facade with rusted iron balcony fences it's okay. If we go to Italy and the roof tiles show their age we find it cute. But here at home we have no understanding for a building's right to age with dignity.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2007, 2:34 AM
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If you go to Europe, you'll find many large companies working out of buildings similar in size to the old ones in Winnipeg. The City in London is more on the scale of the Exchange District than New York, for example. So I'm not totally convinced that these things were impossible.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2007, 3:14 AM
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I was reading a book printed in 1983 about Winnipeg's history. Some awesome pictures. Although I forgot what the name of the book was.

It also claimed the Trizec Building was taller than the Richardson Building.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2007, 4:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy6 View Post
If you go to Europe, you'll find many large companies working out of buildings similar in size to the old ones in Winnipeg. The City in London is more on the scale of the Exchange District than New York, for example. So I'm not totally convinced that these things were impossible.
Oh I agree, it's completely possible, and the building does not have to undergo a costly and comprehensive restoration either. In many cases you basically just need a cleaning, energy efficiency and code compliance.

If business owners run their shops/offices with pride, the population will get the point.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2007, 5:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy6 View Post
If you go to Europe, you'll find many large companies working out of buildings similar in size to the old ones in Winnipeg. The City in London is more on the scale of the Exchange District than New York, for example. So I'm not totally convinced that these things were impossible.
Winnipeg's buildings are also fairly large, new, and modern. Presumably they all would have had electricity and running water when built. The original wiring wouldn't have been that great, but at least there is a place to put wiring. Many older buildings did not even have that and have been reused.

There was an Icelandic bank that opened here (Landsbanki) and I heard that they will also have an office in Winnipeg. In Halifax they occupy an office building that was constructed in 1820. Maybe they have also set up shop in an older building in Winnipeg.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2007, 5:21 PM
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Winnipeg's buildings are also fairly large, new, and modern. Presumably they all would have had electricity and running water when built. The original wiring wouldn't have been that great, but at least there is a place to put wiring. Many older buildings did not even have that and have been reused.

There was an Icelandic bank that opened here (Landsbanki) and I heard that they will also have an office in Winnipeg. In Halifax they occupy an office building that was constructed in 1820. Maybe they have also set up shop in an older building in Winnipeg.
no they have an office in the richardson building
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2008, 5:05 AM
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Time to revive this thread. I have been looking around in the back issues of the Winnipeg Free Press, looking for historical bits of interest. Here are some:

Opening of the first Broadway Bridge announced, April 15, 1882:



Collapse of the Bricklayers' Union Bldg., July 15, 1905 (corner James & Louise, now James & Lily):



Very interesting item showing that people were quite conscious of the changes that Eaton's, then under construction, was bringing to downtown (July 9, 1904). Donald St. would be the "New McDermot" (today, a century later, McDermot is the new Donald St.):



Part of Eaton's advertisement for its very first day, which was just to go and look -- no sales would take place (July 15, 1905):



April 9, 1910 -- the Kenmore Apartments (now known as the Princeton) has opened, with very substantial rents of $40-70 per month:



July 9, 1904: sketch of the new Allman Block on Main Street (across from the Disraeli Freeway),.designed by J.H.G. Russell:

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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2008, 5:27 AM
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kool andy forgot about this thread..

anyhow was this the building that collapsed?
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2008, 5:56 AM
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Yes, I'm sure it must be. That must have been quite a storm.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2008, 6:32 PM
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Very interesting item showing that people were quite conscious of the changes that Eaton's, then under construction, was bringing to downtown (July 9, 1904). Donald St. would be the "New McDermot" (today, a century later, McDermot is the new Donald St.):

That's very interesting. The overall decline of downtown aside, I don't think people a century ago (or even 50 or 25 years ago) could have envisioned that in 2008, Portage Avenue Avenue would be lined with bargain outlets (Hakim Factory Outlet, Red Apple, Bargain World) and marginal enterprises (O'Calcutta), while McDermot around Albert--the wholesale district--would be where downtown's trendy retail was concentrated.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2008, 7:40 PM
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i didnt realize that mcdermot was a retail street in the past....were the store fronts that exist there today original?....i always assumed that they were retrofits of the more typical exchange district building....was it an important street in the past?

one thing i have always wondered and maybe you guys have an answer....why does the building that now houses the mayberry gallery have two facades?....there used to be a building right beside that fronted main street, so why is there a detailed facade on both the street side and to the east?....now that the lot is open, it is exposed, but i wonder why it wasnt designed more typically with only a single facade....did the street pattern change?....what used to be in front of it?


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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2008, 8:05 PM
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^^I don't have my maps handy but i thought there was a lane in to the east of the Lake of the Woods building?
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