Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lowe's Home Improvement Coming to Linden Ridge Mall

Linden Ridge Mall
A number of media sources have confirmed that Lowe's Home Improvement will finally be coming to Winnipeg. They had initially said there were going into Seasons of Tuxedo and had plans drawn up but somehow nothing happened.

I have written about Linden Ridge Mall once before about how they were one of the original builders on Kenaston in the 1990s but had seen other developers scoop up big names for their own projects along the street. In the last year and a bit the mall has made a renewed effort to fully develop their site. It would appear that a 106,000 square foot Lowe's beside the Co-Op Gas should do that.

Manitoba is one of the few provinces to not have a Lowe's. The competition between Rona. Home Depot and Lowe's should be keen.

There will be still be some adjustment to the closure of many retailers in the last months and nearly four months of a contracting Canadian economy. Still, it is clear that Kenaston is the most important street for retailers in Manitoba. Lowe's felt there was no choice but to be somewhere on Kenaston.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Montana's Coming to Seasons of Tuxedo

Aside from the Seasons apartments which have gone up in the last several months, it is safe to say that the Seasons of Tuxedo site has slowed down in development. Assinibone Credit Union is running and a few service based businesses are putting down roots but Red River Sports folded and their space remain vacant.

The promise of a Lowe's Home Improvement and the plans they submitted to the city remain unfulfilled. Suffice to say that it appears a lot of business is taking a wait and see attitude as development as accelerated on Winnipeg's first factory outlet mall. Housing is going up all over Sterling Lyon Parkway. Without doubt the area will have a large resident population and soon.

In the mean time, after 9 PM, things get real quiet in the parking lots of IKEA and Cabela's. The restaurants of Fat Burger and Taco Del Mar do attract people later on but the lack of a casual dining restaurant is profound. This will be now remedied by the arrival of Montana's Restaurant.

The plans for the restaurant were provided to the city this week. The size of the place will be over 5000 square feet and include a patio. There will be substantial landscaping, sidewalks and bike access to the site.

So much has changed at the corner of Sterling Lyon and Kenaston and so much more is coming. It is hard to be believe that just three years ago, it was rail land and industrial and with no people living there.

Expect the one casual dining place will attract others. It will be interesting to see if we land restaurants not presently in the Winnipeg market.
Montana's above the Fat Burger location

Friday, June 12, 2015

Home2 Suites By Hilton Coming to Winnipeg

The Westport Festival development gets a boost with the hint of another hotel joining the planned Hampton Inn.  No official announcement has been made but on the Shindico website, the Home2 Suites by Hilton logo appears in the large space fronting the Red River Ex and adjacent to the MTS Iceplex and Assiniboia Downs.

Make no mistake though, it is the complete success of the MTS Iceplex that is driving the hotel boom along Portage Avenue. For fourplex ice service hosts so many out of town teams that there has been a scramble for hotel space nearby.

Home2 is an extended stay hotel chain. It will be curious to see what client base will use the hotel. The Winnipeg Jets as well as the Manitoba Moose use the MTS Iceplex and the facility continues to see multiple tournaments a year. It is a quite busy area and can be even busier when Red River Ex is up and running.

No announcements of stores and officer at Westport Festival but can they be far behind? Rumour has it that Overwaitea from British Columbia is looking for space for one of their grocery stores in Winnipeg, possibly a Save On Foods. Expect to hear more in the next weeks and months.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

MasterMind Toys Coming to Winnipeg

Mastermind Toys is in the middle of an aggressive western Canada expansion that includes Winnipeg. The Toronto-based store was founded in 1984 and started off as a 300 square foot retailer of children's educational toys and software. Today the privately owned chain numbers 40 stores and big players like Amazon and Toy R Us have been no impediment to the company increasing locations, employees and profits.

The target number of stores would appear to be 100 Canadian stores in the next number of years.

The company had admitted that they have a location that will be opening in Winnipeg in 2015 and their website indicates they are hiring managers now.

The big question is where. The rumour is in the Polo Park area but no confirmation on this.

Despite the bruising closing of stores in recent months like Future Shop and Target, there still seems to be strong absorption of those empty spaces and new retailing spaces across the country.

A Canadian toy retailer that seems to have the finger on the pulse of the nation and able to succeed will be a welcome addition in the Winnipeg market.