Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Waterfront Drive Hotel
Public Access to Hotel on Waterfront?
Boat Access on Waterfront?
A Good Fit for Waterfront Drive?
The first wave of construction on Waterfront Drive took place in 2005 shortly after the road was built. In 2011, some of the condo projects are full up and the second phases are beginning this year.
The old Alexander Docks are defied this development boom until now. A previous project fell by the wayside due to funding.
What is the difference this time with a new project for the site? Well, I guess the difference is a track record close by for getting a condo done across the street. Sunstone Resort Communities has set up a boutique hotel division to build an $11 million hotel and restaurant on the docks.
The city seems game about this project and is offering a 50 year lease for the docks.
The next step will be to get all the zoning cleared and additional information about to maintain public access to the area. The Habourmaster's building will be turned into a 100 seat restaurant and the gravel parking lot will become a three story hotel under the plan. Parking will be limited which is fine if a parkade goes up nearby, preferably in an empty lot.
It is interesting to note that no public money has been discussed thus far for the site.
It will be important as even more projects go up in the area that public access and walkways are paramount. Surface parking needs to be limited in favour of underground parking for condos and offices. Parkades should be set up for city and provincial attractions such as the museum and MTC theatre.
I realize some people are strongly anti-car but it is unrealistic to think people in Manitoba can realistically can give them up entirely. It is better to keep increasing density to the point that people feel they don't need a car to nip off to the store, restaurant or whatever. Waterfront Drive has not quite got to that point yet. The population is going up and it will be interesting to see if some stores, restaurants and services start to follow.
The start time for this hotel is supposed to winter. Let's hope they move faster than the five years it took to get the Canad Inns Hotel and the Health Sciences Centre campus.