Building permit values, which indicate construction costs for new construction, additions, and renovations, have historically been strong in Winnipeg. The 10 year average for building permit values in Winnipeg was $7.9 billion with phenomenal growth over the last five years. This was due mainly to the increase in residential activity and commercial projects such as the new Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and Investors Group Field stadium.
The Revitalization of Winnipeg’s Downtown
Winnipeg’s downtown core is undergoing a dynamic renaissance. Over $900 million has been invested in, or committed to, 140 projects in Winnipeg in recent years.
Currently Winnipeg’s downtown development agency and area stakeholders are collaborating on a new initiative which will see the downtown around Portage Avenue divided into four distinct districts.
- University District - encompassing the area from the University of Winnipeg to the Portage Place mall, possibly connected by a skywalk system
- Retail District - including the redevelopment of The Hudson's Bay Co. building on Memorial Boulevard
- Sports and Entertainment District - anchored by MTS Centre on Donald Street
- Commercial District - centred around the Avenue Building which has recently been turned into a multi-unit residence to attract more Winnipeggers to living downtown
The group is also seeking to have the area designated as the city's first tax increment financing (TIF) zone.
Situated in the historic East Exchange District, Waterfront Drive stretches from Lombard Avenue north to Higgins Avenue. The project incorporates a landscaped roadway, ornamental lighting and an enhanced redesigned Stephen Juba Park along the Red River. The park features an extensive multi-user path system, open areas and several new public works of art by local artists.
Four high quality, mixed-use condominium developments with over 200 units, representing a projected $48 million in private sector investment are also underway. The condo's are the result of a conceptual vision championed by CentreVenture, the steward of Waterfront Drive lands.
Manitoba Hydro Office Tower
The world-class energy efficient headquarters for Manitoba Hydro encompass approximately 690,000 square feet and include public, retail, commercial and Manitoba Hydro office space for nearly 2,000 employees. The building also incorporates eco-areas, allowing the building to achieve its energy reduction target of 60% – making it one of the most energy efficient buildings in the world.
The building is connected to the downtown elevated walkway system and provides street level retail activity, as well as offering a landscaped public courtyard.
The $133.5 million MTS Centre is one of North America’s newest state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complexes located on Portage Avenue in the heart of downtown. The complex was ranked as one of the most successful and busiest facilities of its kind in North America. MTS Centre can facilitate up to 17,000 seats for concerts and over 15,000 seats for hockey.
New Research Investment - Biotechnology
Several projects in the areas of research and biotechnology have contributed to Winnipeg’s growth, these include:
- Smartpark at the University of Manitoba which houses an incubation centre for life sciences technology and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
- A $3 million breast cancer research facility by CancerCare Manitoba
- A multi-million dollar expansion of Cangene Corporation, a leader in specialty hyperimmune plasma and biotechnology products
- A $28 million expansion of Biovail Corporation’s Steinbach facility, to accommodate the company’s new biopharmaceutical products
Airport Site Redevelopment Project
A new state-of-the-art airport terminal at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport opened in 2011. Phase I [2004 - 2010] costs were in the $585 million range, including new parking and terminal structures, two level roadways and additional apron.
Winnipeg Floodway Expansion Project
The Red River Floodway Expansion protects more than 450,000 Manitobans, 140,000 homes and 8,000 businesses, preventing more than $12 billion in damages to the provincial economy in the event of a 1-in-700 year flood.
To discuss Economic Development in Winnipeg, please contact:
Senior Manager, Strategic Research
E: Edward Suzuki