Friday, June 22, 2018

South Landing Business Park Lands The Rink

This is a good new story and a bad news story.

The good news is that The Rink presently located just off Kenaston in a leased building is moving to McGillivary and Loudon down the road from Costco. The land they are moving to will be owned by them.

What will be coming is a privately funded $20 million 95,000 square facility with three rinks and offices and lecture rooms for up to 60 staff. The NHL-sized rink will have room for 700 people to watch. The principals of the Rink are retired NHL player Mike Keane with Brad Rice, Tyler Rice and Tina Jones. They started the company in 2009 and by 2012 expanded it to be the training academy for Pembina Trails School Division and Shaftesbury High School.

There will be retail related to hockey inside, a gym, a track, a specialized training rink and a goalie rink, The present location already attracts people from all over Manitoba and beyond. The new facility which is unlike any other could attract students from even greater distances.

This is very good news except for one fact. The facility is just outside Winnipeg's boundary. I don't blame the The Rink for their decision. They get a purpose built facility that they own close to where they are now and they don't don't pay Winnipeg business taxes.

The Rural Municipality of MacDonald has allowed the South Landing Business Park to set up as an ex-urban development primarily to service Winnipeg and to add to their own tax base. The Rink won't be alone at South Landing. They will join De Luca's International that outgrew their 12,000 square foot facility on McPhillips and their 10,000 square foot coffee processing site in Teulon. The new facility is 38,000 square feet for production and distribution and has a 8,000 square foot retail store. The original sprawling store and school on Portage Avenue remains where it has been since 1968. There are 17 employees working for De Luca at South Landing

Good news and bad news. The good being expanding businesses. The bad news just outside Winnipeg but adding to traffic on a business McGillivary with a future traffic light just to make it even more attractive to development.

I have no doubt that the old Rink location and De Luca's will find new businesses to take over them but the city sprawl continues apace. There is no green belt around the city. No natural boundary line such as a ocean or mountains to limit things.

No denying these businesses do a lot for all of us but they are not inside the city proper anymore. The costs of South Landing doing well is likely traffic at McGillvary and Kenaston rising. We've had pedestrian die there last year.

Good news and bad news.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hyatt Place Coming to Downtown Winnipeg

Hyatt Place through its Toronto developers has announced that downtown Winnipeg will see a historic building converted into a hotel at 138 Portage Avenue. It is just down the street from the Fairmont Hotel and Richardson Building on Portage Avenue East.

The Hyatt Place Hotel will build atop and on the eastern side of the 1909 Keewayden Block (Jacob Crowley Building), a Chicago-style warehouse building that has housed a number of businesses but hosted garment industry related businesses for decades.

The building is immediately behind the BellMTS buldings and surrounded by parking lots, some used by the telecom.

The views towards The Forks should prove amazing and the just down the street is Shaw Park and Portage and Main.

Parking should not be a problem as the building is surrounded by parking lots and may in fact have allotted spaces for itself already. It has been pointed out that entrance and exits might be interesting for hotel guests using hotel shuttle, taxis or rentals. People familiar with the Fairmont Hotel can attest to the entrance there which has its challenges.

Hyatt Place is not a big hotel. It caters to business people in town and will likely have use of being centrally located or near airports. In some ways, this add on to an old building has the feel of red River College and their Princess campus which incorporated the facades of old buildings. In this case, the shell and bones of the old building will be the foundation of the new one.

It is difficult to find fault with this business when the alternative in many cases has been the bulldoze older buildings for ever greater parking. I think it can aptly be shown there is a ton of parking surrounding this new hotel. The establishment is small enough to imagine that it will not generate need the car traffic of its neighbour to the west at the Fairmont which hosts ballroom events as well as meetings regularly.

This Hyatt will be under construction at the same time as differently branded Hyatt rises up in Seasons of Tuxedo in front of Cabela's. A crane is already on site and foundation is being laid.

There was some doubt about the amount of hotels being built in the city but recent occupancy rates have suggested that trade show and business travel remains strong. Tourism has been steady as well. Hyatt Place should be a welcome addition to downtown Winnipeg.

Monday, June 4, 2018

King of Donair Coming to Winnipeg

It has been reported the Halifax-based King of Donair restaurant group will be coming to Winnipeg soon.

Sooo, you ask: What is Donair? Well, it was invented by Greek restaurateur Peter Gamoulakis in the 1970s in Nova Scotia and is their spin on gyros.  It is a Turkish doner kebab of spicy meat served on Lebanese flatbread with a special sauce that is known in Halifax as "donair." In 2015, Halifax listed as the official food of Halifax. In 1973 the King of Donair restaurant was opened and the city now has four of them.

Edmonton will be the home to the first one in the west and a pop-up KOD opened in Calgary and had line-ups for 4-6 hours when it did. Winnipeg is on their list if western Canadian cities that they will be opening in.

Greek families in Canada have had a reputation of been hard working, entrepreneurial and in the food business. In Winnipeg there are many Greek-owned family restaurants and even one that serves donair. Across the west are many former Maritimers and they are likely to remember KOD fondly but the popularity already of gyros by Manitobans should make King of Donair popular.

No word yet on when and where they be opening but watch for an announcement.