Buyer announces purchase of Winnipeg's Neechi Commons 1 week after co-op met to discuss plan to move back in
New tenant expected to move in Aug. 1
A week after the Neechi Commons co-operative held a community meeting to discuss plans to revitalize the vacant space, the Southeast Resource Development Council says it's already bought the building from Assiniboine Credit Union.
The Neechi Commons co-op, which occupied the space for five years, has been trying to secure financing or a new buyer that would allow them to move back in after they were forced to close in 2018 due to mounting debt — $3.9 million owed to the credit union.
They held a meeting last week to discuss plans to secure financing, but it was already too late.
The Southeast Resource Development Council (SERDC) announced in a news release Wednesday that it bought the building from the credit union and received the keys on July 1.
Tenant Shawenim Abinoojii Inc., a First Nations-led not-for-profit organization, will start leasing the space on Aug. 1.
On July 19, the Neechi Commons co-operative hosted a community meeting to discuss plans to secure interim financing to pay off its loan — something they thought they still had time to do before the building was sold.
Co-op member Louise Champagne was not aware the building had been sold until CBC News told her Wednesday morning.
Previously home to a grocery store, restaurant and gallery space, Neechi Commons will now be used as a new centralized home for Shawenim Abinoojii, which currently occupies four different offices nearby.
Shawenim Abinoojii, which is Anishinaabe for "nurture the child," provides services to Southeast Child and Family Services and specialized home placement options for Southeast Resource Development Council members. Services include support work, foster care, educational services for youth and transitional programs for young people.
The former Neechi Commons space will be renovated to include a community meeting area and classrooms, with plans to open in March 2023.