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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 3:25 AM
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Winnipeg | 90 Alexander Ave | (Great West Metal Redevelopment)

Great West Metal (Redevelopment)
Location: 90 Alexander Ave
Developer: RNDSQR
Architects: 5468796 Architecture
Contractor: Unknown
Status: Proposed
Media: Waterfront wrap-around, Calgary developers planning to surround a rehabilitated heritage building with two new rental developments
Description: $100 million investment, 300 rental apartments split between two recently acquired properties including the current site of Great West Metal; plans also include to rehabilitate an existing heritage building to create 16,000-square-feet of commercial/office space.











Quote:
Waterfront wrap-around
Calgary developers planning to surround a rehabilitated heritage building with two new rental developments
By: Martin Cash | Posted: 10/7/2019 7:00 PM

Twenty years after it was conceived, the completion of development of Waterfront Drive could be at hand.

Calgary developers, whose speciality is modest-sized downtown residential developments with special attention to design details, have recently acquired two properties just north of the Mere Hotel and intend to build more than 300 rental apartments split between the two sites.

On one site between Pacific Avenue and Alexander Avenue — the current home of Great West Metal — the Calgary developers also plan to rehabilitate an existing heritage building to create about 16,000-square-feet of commercial/office space.

Alkarim Devani, president of the Calgary development company he runs with his brother Afshin called Round Square (they spell it RNDSQR), says he knows the two developments are ambitious but that the demand for this type of development downtown will continue to grow.

"We have been looking at Winnipeg for the last four years, slowly looking at opportunities," he said. "We feel like the developments that have been taking place and the changes that have happening in the Exchange District are really exciting. We just feel there are more people who want to continue to move into those neighbourhoods."

The two projects, which will pump about $100 million of new investment into the area, will include about 170 units on the Great West Metal site that will wrap around the heritage building and another 160 in two six storey buildings on the other site, one block north on the north side of Galt Avenue and Waterfront Drive.

It was the latter site that first caught Devani’s attention. The 32,000-square-foot piece of land had been assembled by CentreVenture which originally owned just a small portion of the parcel. After several years of efforts — including a last minute discovery that a small sliver of the land was still owned by CN Rail — a request for proposal for development was published in the spring of 2018.

"It was a long process for sure," said Angela Mathieson, CEO of CentreVenture. "But it was definitely worthwhile."

With the closure of that deal CentreVenture has only a small property at Heaton Avenue left that will wrap up its work on Waterfront Drive which has included $250 million in private investment to date and the development of nearly 500 new housing units and the conversion of 12 vacant or derelict buildings not counting these two new proposed developments by the Calgary developers.

The request for proposal was not just for the purchase of the land, but includes a development agreement. RNDSQR has committed to actually build on the site by a designated time or be forced to sell it back to CentreVenture and pay a penalty.

"We received quite a lot of interest on the property," she said. "RNDSQR has a really urban philosophy to their developments."

The company has more than a dozen projects in Calgary and Devani said they get invited to get involved in suburban projects there but he said that’s not where their passion lies.

"When you think about sustainability from a growth perspective, in every single city, including Calgary, the most sustainable type of growth is within the downtown, the core areas, and in revitalizing our old neighbourhoods," he said.

Among other things, RNDSQR projects try to include partnerships with local businesses, so that rent payments will include some sort of incentive to patronize local establishments.

They call it a "subscription-based model for living" where the monthly rental fee also includes access to shops, restaurants and fitness facilities that are partnered with the development.

"Our whole goal is it to encourage collision and interaction and support for local small business," Devani said.

He said the hope is to start construction on the Great West Metal site first with design work being done by 5468796 Architecture.

"We are taking possession of that property and we’re helping them (Great West Metal) relocate," he said. "We’re hoping to start development there early in the new year."

That is estimated to be an 18-month process to get to occupancy. He said the Galt Avenue project will likely start development before the first one is completed.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca
https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/bu...562467272.html

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Last edited by Wpg_Guy; Oct 8, 2019 at 7:27 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 3:41 AM
Luisito Luisito is offline
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This project looks great! That whole area is really coming together. The only other thing I would like to see on waterfront is something done with that ugly rusted metal warehouse down the street. Its a real eye sore.

Thanks for sharing this.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:01 AM
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Amazing. Can’t wait.

$100 million for 300 units seems pretty high.
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:10 AM
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That design looks straight out of Scandinavia... 546 is really leaving their mark on this town.

Great stuff.
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisito View Post
The only other thing I would like to see on waterfront is something done with that ugly rusted metal warehouse down the street. Its a real eye sore.
That metal warehouse is actually an ice rink! It should just be fixed up. As for the new proposal it’s really neat along the side streets but I don’t really care for the view along waterfront. Looks too similar to the pump house. Maybe at least make it white.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
$100 million for 300 units seems pretty high.
Especially for rentals, but we'll see I guess. It doesn't look like this firm has done anything close to being on this scale before. Hopefully the financing tied to syndicated mortgages.

There's an active manufacturing operation in that building right now in October of 2019. They expect to relocate the operation, get permits, demolish the building, build the new building, and have occupancy in 18 months? Tip of the hat to these ambitious gentlemen.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 11:04 AM
wags_in_the_peg wags_in_the_peg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
That metal warehouse is actually an ice rink! It should just be fixed up. .
It is NOT an ice rink, it’s a ball hockey rink and when I played there 25 yrs ago it was really run down, recently returned with my kid and it 10x more run down. Nothing to save their bleeding heart
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 1:05 PM
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I've been pondering this announcement some more, here are a few idle thoughts:

-The scale of this project is impressive, it will push the area closer to having a bit of a critical mass to support local businesses and even just street life to make the place feel livelier than it currently does, especially after hours.

-On that note, and I know this is old news, Ship Street Village is a monument to wasted potential. The fact that such a large amount of prime Waterfront Drive space is dedicated to a few measly townhouses is even more irritating now that it's clear that spot would be in great demand.

-I like the bold design of this project. It's nice that there will be a heritage element incorporated into the whole thing.

-Now that the obvious redevelopment sites along Waterfront have pretty well been used up, I wonder if we'll start to see a second wave of development move west from Waterfront? There are still loads of sites that are easily within a 9-iron shot of Waterfront itself, and it would really help the area take the next step into becoming a full-fledged neighbourhood.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 1:32 PM
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I love the overhead connections to the heritage building and the inner "wrap-around courtyard space.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 2:03 PM
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Whoa. Looks amazing!
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 2:06 PM
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Congratulations on saving an old building and having a very quantifiably large development. This is all very encouraging.

But, to rain on the parade a little... I'm trying to understand the reasons for, or appeal of, this whole business of creating quasi-private 'space between buildings' as a more important consideration than the actual public space in front of the building - the street. This is basically the guiding design principle at Railside, and now it's being transplanted to a traditional street-block context of the northeast Exchange District.

(And I know this block doesn't have a rear lane, and how creating new ones serve very practical purposes... but the lanes or whatever seem to be the focus here.)

I really don't know where this trend is coming from. Is it just a local thing, or something in the design world more broadly right now? Is the public street environment so bad in downtown Winnipeg (traffic noise, crummy pedestrian environment, etc.) that designers want to create a better space elsewhere? I'm obviously critical, but I am honestly trying to understand this a little better... it just screams housing project to me. A cool Scandinavian housing project, sure, but still a housing project.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 2:52 PM
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What can I say? Amazingly good news for Waterfront Drive! The green great West metal building always stuck out like a sore thumb IMO, and seeing that metal building between Galt and George Ave.s will be a relief as well.

As for "wardlow's" comment on the quasi-private space between buildings, I don't really mind it. It reminds me of the small, semi-private space the apartments overlooked in the movie Rear Window....without the murders, of course.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 3:27 PM
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Not sure I like the look of the preliminary render. Is that corrugated metal siding supposed to be nod to the old sheet metal factory?
I don’t mind the interior laneways and I like the overpasses connecting the older bldg.
I’m optimistic overall, but hopefully this isn’t done on the cheap
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
Amazing. Can’t wait.

$100 million for 300 units seems pretty high.
Was talking to someone with knowledge of the project recently. He said the entire main floor commercial space will have its own street entrances like normal, but also all be open/connected within the building to create a "mall" like area. Based on the renders, seems like this "mall" will be outdoors. I like it.

I like this inner courtyard/alley idea – it really reminds me of some of the lanes and infilled alley spaces in Gastown, especially Blood Alley and the redevelopment going on there. Also like older neighbourhoods in European cities like Lisbon, Barcelona, etc. where there's alleys everywhere with little shops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
That metal warehouse is actually an ice rink! It should just be fixed up. As for the new proposal it’s really neat along the side streets but I don’t really care for the view along waterfront. Looks too similar to the pump house. Maybe at least make it white.
---

Can anyone tell – are all the renders of the GWM site, and they haven't released plans for old rink yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Authentic_City View Post
Not sure I like the look of the preliminary render. Is that corrugated metal siding supposed to be nod to the old sheet metal factory?
I don’t mind the interior laneways and I like the overpasses connecting the older bldg.
I’m optimistic overall, but hopefully this isn’t done on the cheap
I love the design overall but I do agree about the Waterfront view.... meh. I think corrugated "raw" metal or steel would look cool, but if this is black like Pumphouse and OZ, yuck. And you know some ugly Juliette railings will be slapped on those big windows.
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wags_in_the_peg View Post
It is NOT an ice rink, it’s a ball hockey rink and when I played there 25 yrs ago it was really run down, recently returned with my kid and it 10x more run down. Nothing to save their bleeding heart
So sorry, it’s a ball hockey rink NOT an ice rink, wow how wrong of me. I. can’t. believe. I. was. so. far. off. the. fucking. mark. And yeah all those new people moving in wouldn’t want any sort of recreational components to their neighbourhood. You’re right, I’m just a bleeding heart Jew.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:25 PM
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^ The value of an old, worn out tin shed used for ball hockey must be very low... its days would have to be numbered no matter what. For what it's worth, that area got a pretty impressive recreational facility a few years ago that blows the Duncan Sportsplex clear out of the water in terms of facilities...
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ The value of an old, worn out tin shed used for ball hockey must be very low... its days would have to be numbered no matter what. For what it's worth, that area got a pretty impressive recreational facility a few years ago that blows the Duncan Sportsplex clear out of the water in terms of facilities...
Not to mention the monstrous GoodLife about to open at Portage and Main. Or the numerous other gyms and wellness facilities downtown.

----

I'm curious about the "rules" for building finishes here. How come 546 is allowed to put up pretty heinous black corrugated metal wherever they please, but when that building on Maryland used white corrugated metal the city made them tear it down and put up something nicer? Was it because it wasn't designed by starchitects? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy the city did that on Maryland, but I just think we should be putting some limits on the use of barn siding in the city. Those guidelines from Minneapolis would be nice for our character areas.
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Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:32 PM
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This devolved pretty quick.. I'm not too keen on the corrugated looking siding. hopefully it's just a render thing.

Duncan is a dump. Sport for Life centre as a replacement seems like a good option.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 4:50 PM
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Very exciting. What a change the area has taken from years ago when speed boat races were being done at the Alexander docks. There was nothing there, fast forward to now, all I can say is amazing.
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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2019, 5:26 PM
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Super excited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
Amazing. Can’t wait.

$100 million for 300 units seems pretty high.
It's not, definitely on par these days.
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