Winners, HomeSense store to open at former Polo Park Target site

The vacant Target building on St. James Street is set to see its first tenant since the U.S. retail giant closed up shop nearly three years ago.

1st tenant for location since Target shut down Canadian stores in 2015

A combo Winners/HomeSense store has been confirmed as the first tenant at the vacant Target store near Winnipeg's Polo Park Shopping Centre. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

The vacant Target building near Winnipeg's Polo Park Shopping Centre is set to see its first tenant since the U.S. retail giant left Winnipeg, and its other Canadian markets, nearly three years ago.

CBC News has learned a Winners and HomeSense store will open at the St. James Street site later this year.

A spokesperson for TJX — the American company which operates several store brands, including Marshalls, HomeSense and Winners in Canada — confirmed Thursday the retailer plans to open a combo store at the old Target site as early as this fall.

The spokesperson provided no other details on the company's plans, and couldn't say how much space the new store will take up in the 140,000-square-foot building.

Target Corp. closed the store at the old Canad Inns Stadium site in April 2015, just months after it opened to the public.

The U.S. retailer pulled out of the Canadian market after suffering nearly $1 billion in losses during its first year in Canada.

Last fall, the city approved a request to divide the building into three retail spaces and develop a roughly 3,900-square-foot lobby that would connect two of the three stores. 
The former Target store on St. James Street has sat vacant for nearly three years. (Cliff Simpson/CBC)

Target originally designed the building as a single-use space that was meant to be its anchor location in Winnipeg.

Current joint owners Cadillac Fairview — which owns Polo Park Shopping Centre — and Shindico and have had trouble finding a new tenant, or tenants, since then.

Property-tax revenue from new tenants would go toward paying down a $160-million loan fronted by the province that was used to help build Investors Group Field on the University of Manitoba campus.

The province and city are responsible for paying back $75 million of that loan, plus interest, but have had a hard time making a dent due to the absence of tenants at the former Canad Inns Stadium site.

The property was projected to generate $7 million annually in property-tax revenue. Only $3 million in property-tax revenue had been applied toward a portion of the loan as of September of last year. 

As a result of that shortfall, the Manitoba government revised its expectations of getting all of its money back and placed a $56-million loss provision on the IGF stadium loan this fall.

The TJX spokesperson said the company will make an official announcement on exactly when the new store will open as soon as they have the details.

With files from Susan Magas and Bryce Hoye