Home improvement guru Mike Holmes is coming to Winnipeg to help build a townhouse project at the former CN Fort Rouge Yards.
The television show host's company, The Holmes Group, will be involved in 'The Yards at Fort Rouge' near the Jubilee Avenue rapid transit corridor.
The area is being developed by Gem Equities, which touts the project as being Winnipeg's first transit-oriented development.
The Holmes Group says it will feature "energy efficient townhomes within a walkable community that has access to existing neighbourhood amenities, including rapid transit, bike paths and green spaces."
The development is next to the Jubilee rapid transit station and runs along the southwest rapid transit corrridor.
Holmes says in a news release that geothermal heating and cooling incorporated into the project will reduce its carbon footprint.
"It's about building smart and living well," says the well-known builder in the news release. "We're working with the land and building homes that make sense, for homeowners and the environment."
Monica Newman of Rim Rock Realty, the company handling sales for the project, said people are thrilled Holmes is on board.
"We're getting a lot of excitement, a lot of calls," she said. "He looked at it and kept getting more interested."
The development will see 400 new units built over the next five years.
Newman said the first phase of 40 town homes is expected to sell out fast, especially since Holmes is involved in giving them his stamp of approval. "He will be inspecting each unit four times, plus, he will be giving final inspections to each home owner," Newman said.
But not everyone is as excited. Shane Nestruck, who lives in the Lord Roberts neighbourhood, said he's surprised Holmes is putting his name to project Nestruck believes is poorly thought out.
"I'd like to meet Holmes and I'd like to tell him he may be being used," he said. "To have him involved with this abomination of a development is kind of ironic," he said. "Because from the very beginning this has been done backwards."
Nestruck said residents are sceptical the project is right for the area.
"I get the clear impression that it's a low-end, sort of make-do cookie cutter, jam as many condos into the area as possible."
Both critics and potential buyers will get to question the celebrity contractor themselves.
Mike Holmes is in Winnipeg for an open house on September 21.