Earlier this month Hilton Hotels put their plans before city council for a Hilton Hotel on the site of Seasons of Tuxedo adjacent to the Outlet Collection of Winnipeg mall presently under construction. The hotel will be visible alongside the Kenaston underpass and next to the Porsche and Audi dealerships also under construction.
This will be the only hotel south of the Assiniboine from Pembina Highway to the Perimeter. Quite simply for the business or leisure traveller, there has been nothing in southwest Winnipeg close to Kenaston's retail and business parks.
Hilton's plans are for a 6 storey, 127 room hotel occupying a 24,850 square footprint and total floor space of 86,565 square feet. The design appears to be Tyndal Stone, brick with a mix of colours. The best news for thirsty people in the area is that a beer vendor will also be built. The size will be 3,432 square feet.
This is not likely the last hotel we will see built near the IKEA. The area has been barren for the longest time confounding those people who would like to be near where they have business meetings or where they shop.
The last empty Target space in Winnipeg is now spoken for. Kildonan Place presented plans to a community committee for a H&M, Marshalls and HomeSense yesterday to replace the space that has been empty since April of last year.
The closures of Target across Canada left landlords with a lot of empty space coast to coast. In the city of Winnipeg many of those spaces were picked up post haste. Grant Park Target is soon to be a Canadian Tire. Southdale Target has been converted to a Walmart. Polo Park Target is now owned by Polo Park but we have not seen what their plans for it are. And now last, Kildonan Place will be see three new stores.
H&M has taken off in Canada and done very well in their Polo Park location. It is easy to see why they thought a new location would be in order. Marshalls has expanded rapidly in Winnipeg but have been looking for a location in the east of the city for some time. And HomeSense as well has been ripe for another store.
The economy may still be doing stuttersteps to recovery but at least in the city of Winnipeg the empty spaces left by massive Target won't be left unfilled for much longer.
It looks like after months of renovations that Thom Bargen Downtown has opened at 250 Kennedy Street. Two years after successfully opening on Sherbrook and being part of a rejuvenated Wolsley, the popular coffee house has taken over an optical store kitty corner to Starbucks . This is not a bad thing for either quite honestly. People attract other people and this growth seems organic as a few places have opened and there appears to be a desire to connect. Perhaps in a wired world, the street has a new appeal.
Community restoration goes building by building, street by street. Sometimes there are a few stumbles but it would seem that there is some steady progress in a few key areas of the downtown that are undeniable.
Thom Bargen is likely to a very welcome addition to the downtown area.
People from Winnipeg of a certain age remember fur stores all over the city. A lady at the symphony would have the latest fur and at the end of the season, it would be stored often at the same story it was bought from. By the late 1970s though the innovations in type of material used in winter coats and attitudes towards furs erased a part of that Winnipeg history.
And so it seems with leather in terms of outer wear. Puffy coats like Canada Goose or of the snowmobile variety or team sport variety have crushed leather sales. Weather played a factor too. Colder winters meant the company a few years ago did not have warm enough clothing. Appeals to younger shoppers failed and alienated older shoppers. What could go wrong did go wrong.
Danier Leather went insolvent and with it go over 1000 retail jobs in Canada and 84 stores. For Winnipeg it means the loss of four stores in high traffic areas such as Polo Park and St. Vital. Deep discounts to clear the stock have already begun and will continue until they are selling shelving and fixtures.
The retail landscape is littered with companies that have faltered and not kept up with consumer demand. In this case, leather itself appears to be the problem.
The choice locations of Danier in Winnipeg will likely be picked up in short order but there are still spaces even now that landlords have not filled.
In 2014, Polo Park ranked at number 14 in Canada for sales in Canada. major upgrades at several malls across Canada have pushed the mall back two places for 2015.
There is little doubt that Sears is hurting Polo Park's standings although sales did increase in the year overall in the mall. If Sears does decide to quit Polo Park, it is expected sales will leap in Winnipeg's biggest shopping area.