Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Winnipeg Internet Pundits
I guested on the brilliant program Winnipeg Internet Pundits on Wednesday at 5 on UMFM.
Tessa Vanderhart hosts smart bloggers Christian Cassidy from West End Dumplings, James Howard, Slurpees and Murder and Winnipeg Cat, Graham Hnatiuk, Progressive Winnipeg , Robert Galston,Rise and Sprawl and Walter Krawec, One Man Committee on a roundtable discussion of Winnipeg and the blogosphere.
Tessa had provided a very detailed program plan which I apologize for going rambling past. Listening to the program, I think my stuttering is cringeworthy. Thanks to Christian, James and Walter tried keep thing on course and I thank them for that. Note to self: Bring something in writing yourself so you can not just talk off the top of your head.
The topics covered included the future development of Polo Park and surrounding area. I expressed confusion as to how the Asian food grocery was lost and how Western Financial suddenly became part of a mixed use mall.
We talked about retailer we might like or expect to see. First off, I should say I have no problem with local retailers and will seek them out whenever possible but I will say right up front that Polo Park and St. Vital Shopping Centre are poor prospects for a purely local retailer.
The better areas are most certainly along Henderson, Nairn, Main, McPhillips, Portage Avenue, Academy Road, Osborne and Corydon.
We talked about the little music area on Portage near Advance Electronics. I don't know that anyone has ever mentioned how many local music stores call that area home. There is Yamaha and Encore along with a few others.
The Free Press has written about how many wedding dress shops are along Portage near The Bay. What hasn't been mentioned is how many optical places are there too.
Touching upon The Bay downtown, there was a discussion of how the restaurant Oliver and Bonacini was going to be a destination location.
Downtown will only draw people with something exclusive like Mountain Equipment Co-Op or Birks. The old Bay restaurant certainly wasn't going to draw pre-Jets games crowds. Oliver and Bonacini will.
As far as the old stadium site, I expressed doubts about Lowe's locating there but thought Kohl's might be the right store. Truth of the matter though, nothing will be set in stone until the stadium is knocked down.
And many big retailers might be looking at the Seasons of Tuxedo to see how things shake out there before committing to an undefined stadium site.
I criticized the province about squatting on parking lots when they could have out the space on offer as both a parkade and office or residential and help create more energy and density around the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
I hope I didn't sound too negative about things because generally speaking I see positive things happening.
We are still finding our way on things but discussions of where we live, work, shop and play have to be in the forefront of any discussion we have on the city.
Thanks to all on the show who help try identify the city's strengths and where there needs to be improvements. And I will try not to ramble on as I did if I am ever back. I was nervous.