Manitoba

Downtown Winnipeg hotel turning into apartments

Place Louis Riel, a long-stay hotel in downtown Winnipeg, is being transformed into a luxury apartment complex.
Over the next two years, Place Louis Riel hotel on Smith Street will be converted into one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments. (Courtesy Place Louis Riel)

A long-stay hotel in downtown Winnipeg is being transformed into a luxury apartment complex.

Over the next two years, 300 suites in Place Louis Riel hotel on Smith Street, will be converted into one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments.

Renovations have already started on seven of the hotel's 23 floors and are expected to be completed over the next year.

General manager John Saad said the company that owns the property, Edmonton-based Westcorp, wants to address the shortage of rental units in Winnipeg and spruce up the downtown core.

"This will help support that vision of, you know, really getting some more people living in the core, spending in the core, shopping in the core, and really rejuvenating it," Saad said Tuesday.

The hotel used to be an apartment complex when it first opened in 1970.

"When you look at the occupancy rates in most major cities across Canada, there's a real need for apartment rentals, and I think that bringing these units back will certainly help," Saad said.

There is no word yet on what the rent will be at the new apartment complex.

Another long-running hotel on Smith Street, the St. Regis Hotel, was recently purchased by CentreVenture as part of a downtown revitalization plan.

Officials with CentreVenture, a downtown development agency, say they will keep the St. Regis open for the next year while they decide what to do with the property.

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