Manitoba

Winnipeg city hall gets first look at massive St. Boniface development proposal

The city's property and planning committee got a first glimpse at a proposal for a development on the site that once held Canada Packers meat plant and the Union Stockyards.

Former Canada Packers plant, Union Stockyards site could feature mix of apartments, condos, businesses

Calgary's Olexa Developments has presented a plan to Winnipeg city's council's planning and development committee to redevelop the Public Markets site, in the St. Boniface industrial park. The proposal would includes apartment towers, bungalow condos and townhomes, but no single-family dwellings. (Submitted by Olexa Developments)

The one–time home of a meat packing plant and a former proposed site for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' football stadium could one day become a mix of apartments, condos and commercial businesses.

A proposed plan from Calgary's Olexa Developments to redevelop the 165 acres (roughly 66 hectares) of the Public Markets site, in the St. Boniface industrial park, has landed on the desks of the Winnipeg city council's property and planning committee.

The site, bracketed by Marion and Archibald streets and Dawson Road, is the former home of the Union Stockyards and the Canada Packers meat-packing plant.

The land was purchased from the city by Canad Inns in 2007, which proposed it as a site for a new football stadium, which was instead built at the University of Manitoba.

It was then purchased by Olexa Developments.

"We aim to create a village," said the company's development manager and licensed broker with Shindico, Robert Scaletta. That would include grocery stores, restaurants, and medical and pharmacy locations — but no big–box outlets.

The secondary plan in front of the property, planning and development committee envisions the construction of apartment towers from four to 15 stories, bungalow condos and townhomes, but no single-family dwellings.

The planning document also promises a series of open spaces and parks within the development. 

Olexa sees several advantages to the property, Scaletta said.

"It's four kilometres from the downtown," and also has the advantage of being close to St. Boniface University and St. Boniface Hospital, he said.

Under the proposal, existing industrial uses within the area would be permitted to continue, but the developers say the commercial use for the area will be limited to the construction of business parks and light to general industrial use, with restrictions on companies that produce smoke, fumes or odours.

Scaletta says his company has done eight stakeholder meetings in advance, generating positive reactions from the community.

The first phase of the development could see up to 600 residential units built. The entire project could take up to 25 years to complete.

Scaletta says Olexa would like to start work on the project by next summer.

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