Manitoba

Affordable housing developer wanted for former police-HQ site near city hall

CentreVenture is looking for a developer to build affordable housing as part of the redevelopment of the former police headquarters on Princess Street.

Project set to include 100 apartments, ground floor for 'cultural hub'

Winnipeggers look at an artist's concept of the redeveloped parkade and police-station site at a public meeting earlier this year. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

CentreVenture is looking for a developer to build affordable housing as part of the redevelopment of Winnipeg's former police headquarters near city hall.

"We're now bringing together the partnerships and the financing required to make the Market Lands a reality," said Angela Mathieson, CEO of downtown development agency CentreVenture, which is trying to market the former Public Safety Building and Civic Centre Parkade.

The agency is now accepting expressions of interest [EOI] from non-profit housing developers interested in the project, to be built on the southern parcel of the site, adjacent William Avenue.

The 2.4-acre site is currently occupied by the Public Safety Building and adjoining parkade, which are slated for demolition.

The Market Lands area is where the civic parkade and Public Safety Building now stand, just west of city hall. (CentreVenture)
The southern parcel will be the first section of the Market Lands to be developed. (CentreVenture)

The area will be divided into north and south sections with the latter parcel developed first, according to CentreVenture. 

The plan for the southern section calls for 100 apartment units and around 1,100 square metres of ground floor space dedicated for a "cultural hub" developed with Winnipeg's creative community.

"This EOI is seeking a partner who shares the vision of making this important site a welcoming and inclusive place with housing options for all incomes," said Mathieson.

The 0.8-acre southern parcel will also include a one-storey public market building, approximately 650 square metres, to house permanent and temporary local vendors and a public plaza.

Construction is slated to begin in 2020.

Construction on the northern parcel will begin shortly afterwards.

That section is set aside for mixed-use development, including scenarios for multiple buildings to house multi-family residential, office, retail and parking spaces. Applications for development will be sought from private contractors next year.

The city expects to spend $10.7 million to demolish the aging complexes and prepare the entire site for redevelopment.

The Public Safety Building closed in 2016 after the Winnipeg Police Service moved into its new $214-million headquarters on Graham Avenue. The six-storey building was deemed too costly to redevelop.

The Public Safety Building was once the headquarters of the Winnipeg Police Service. (Google Streetview)

The parkade was shuttered in 2012 because of structural issues and nearly a decade of deferred maintenance. 

The southernmost portion of the block must be reserved for some form of public use, based on an 1875 caveat placed on the land by its donor.

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