River Heights is growing. A dramatic plan to develop the area at the south end of the neighbourhood will see possibly the biggest construction project here in years.
The land in question is on the south side of Taylor Avenue and development is proposed for a possible large retail store, hotel, restaurant, seniors care home, residential apartments and entertainment venues.
Shindico will be the prime developer of Grant Park Pavilion, an eighteen hectare site for which they have some very ambitious plans indeed.
A redevelopment plan was approved by City council’s property and development committee although it was not unanimous. Committee chairman Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) was opposed, mainly due to not all details being known at the time. Specifically who would be footing the bill for infrastructure costs such as site drainage for both this and the adjoining Parker wetlands.
Local councilor John Orlikow though is in favour of the development.
The plan was later approved by full council giving it a green light for construction to start. However there were still some concerns such as securing intersection improvements to minimize traffic disruption in the neighbourhood and creation of a public park or green space with interconnecting paths.
The infill land will be situated between Taylor Avenue and the CNR rail line and between Harrow Street and the Grant Park Festival shopping complex on Taylor.
Once completed the new development will be divided into four distinct areas. The Powersmart Pavilion will feature a large retailer and possible hotel with restaurant and entertainment facilities. Grant Park Mews and Grant Park Row are envisioned to be residential areas with possible office and retail spaces. The Meeting Place like its name suggests will be a pedestrian area linked to active transportation options.
The development will abut onto the Parker wetlands site which is also the favoured option of the rapid transit expansion on its route from its current Jubilee terminus to the University of Manitoba. The City is currently conducting a functional design study on how the second stage of rapid transit will impact this area.
It should be pointed out that expropriation of residential homes along the proposed route could be a requirement. This will be determined after the design study is completed.
To appease growing traffic concerns in the neighbourhood the City is once again looking at building an underpass for the rail crossing on Waverley Street and $1.2 million has been allocated for a preliminary engineering study.
Shindico’s plan should tie in to and expand their existing commercial real estate projects at Grant Festival also on the south side Taylor.
Any way you look at it, south west Winnipeg is growing. Construction is scheduled to start this spring with completion between three and five years later.