True North tops off tower at 225 Carlton, but tenant, plaza questions remain
25-storey building on time, on budget, but tax rebates from provincial government still not approved
The first phase of construction at True North Square hit a milestone as two of its towers reached their full height, but owners say they're still waiting for answers from the province to some key questions.
At the residential tower at 225 Carlton St., 25 storeys are in place, and tenants are expected to start moving into the 17-storey tower at 242 Hargrave St. in June.
Jim Ludlow, president of True North Real Estate Development, said details of a lease with Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries for 50,000 square feet of office space have yet to be ironed out.
"There's some details left to conclude on that, so we are not different from where we were six months ago when we last had this conversation. But where we are with [Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries] and the province is satisfactory for all of us," Ludlow said.
The deal to lease the space was struck by the previous, NDP government.
True North is also still waiting for the province to sign off on rebates for $5.7 million in proceeds from provincial property taxes to help with the construction of True North Plaza.
Winnipeg's city council voted 14-2 last March to refund up to $3.2 million in municipal property taxes from the first phase of True North's $400-million development.
But approval by the Progressive Conservative government has taken a lot longer.
Construction of the public plaza, supported by the tax rebates, is going ahead while the province mulls over its decision, Ludlow said.
"The province has the balance of its funding approvals to procede through Treasury [Board]. That's just a matter of timing — don't expect that to be an issue. So it won't change what anybody is going to see," Ludlow said.
"The request for additional funding and a new partnership arrangement for the plaza component of the project is under consideration," a spokesperson for Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton said.
Northland Properties plans to break ground on the 27-storey, 288-room Sutton Place Hotel and an accompanying 17-storey, 130-unit residential tower in spring or summer of next year. Those towers are expected to be done by 2020.
With files from Sean Kavanagh