Winnipeg to study how suburban retail impacts other areas

Winnipeg plans to analyze the effect of large suburban retail developments on older areas of the city as part of a study into future land-use needs.

Land-use study will look at effects of 'major retail centres' in 'burbs on downtown and mixed-use corridors

The City of Winnipeg plans to study the effect of major retail centres in newer areas of the city mixed-use corridors through older areas as well as downtown.

Winnipeg plans to analyze the effect of large suburban retail developments on older areas of the city as part of a study into future land-use needs.

As part of a long-term planning effort, the city is about to hire a consulting firm to figure out how much commercial and industrial land it needs to support continued economic growth and make recommendations about how it should be developed.

​The main purpose of the study is to ensure Winnipeg has "an appropriate supply" of land to "maintain economic competitiveness and achieve other city-building objectives," according to a request for proposals issued by the city late last week.

The study will also look at how so-called power centres and other major retail developments in new areas of the city affect efforts to revitalize downtown Winnipeg and build up density along mixed-use corridors that run through older neighbourhoods.

"The proponent shall analyze the relationship between major retail centres located largely in the suburbs and the viability of commercial lands located along [mixed-use] corridors and in the downtown, with the aim of characterizing the former's impact on the latter both generally and in regards to specific commercial uses," the request for proposals states.

"The proponent shall describe the market conditions necessary to achieve greater retail intensification in downtown and along corridors, and how such conditions could be encouraged by policy."

The study's findings will help the city make decisions about whether or not to approve new retail developments in newer areas of Winnipeg, the document states. As a result, the study may have significant implications for suburban land values as well as the commercial development industry.

The city plans to hire a consultant to conduct the study before March 9. The winning bidder must also forecast economic growth in Winnipeg, figure out a way for the city to monitor this growth and translate that growth into land-use needs.


Bartley Kives

Reporter, CBC Manitoba

Reporter Bartley Kives joined CBC Manitoba in 2016. Prior to that, he spent three years at the Winnipeg Sun and 18 at the Winnipeg Free Press, writing about politics, music, food and outdoor recreation. He's the author of the Canadian bestseller A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada's Undiscovered Province and co-author of both Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg and Stuck In The Middle 2: Defining Views of Manitoba. His work has also appeared in publications such as the Guardian and Explore magazine.