Saturday, February 4, 2023

Pizza Express and Submarine Returns to Winnipeg

After 20 years Brandon-based Pizza Express and Submarine has returned to Winnipeg and had taken up residence in old Charleswood at the site of the former Carbone Coal Fired Pizza along Roblin Boulevard.

As posted earlier just down Roblin Charleswood Pizza Depot just opened in the former Little Caesar's. It is a tough business but people are looking for something different and while Pizza Depot has a taste of southeast Asia, Pizza Express and Submarines has both pizza and subs.

Pizza Express and Submarine got its start in Brandon with Vasilarakis family. Working in pizza restaurants till they owned their own in 1982, they turned Pizza Express and Submarine into a western Manitoba fave,
In 1990 in the first incarnation of Pizza Express came to Winnipeg. The Portage location won over customers with Greek pizza fare and submarines. This led to another location on St. Mary's Road. However, by 1998 it was all over and an offer to purchase and a desire to be back with family and their original store and it was back to Brandon. And for years no more Pizza Express in Winnipeg till now.

The family has now grown up and the opportunity to operate in Winnipeg once more was a siren call. It is likely Charleswood is a good place to recapture the west part of the city again.
The pandemic and inflation has been a tough market to survive in but the job market remains resilient and the entrepreneurial spirit of people appears strong. Only a few vacancies exist in Charleswood which should attest to the business and restaurants needed in the area.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Charleswood Pizza Depot

After many years as an outpost of Little Caesar's in Charleswood, a change to the strip mall across from Laxdal came mid January of 2023. It was the only location in the Charleswood/Tuxedo location. The chain is in no danger of going out of business in Winnipeg with under two dozen locations spread across the city.

In it's place a Canadian chain is going up founded by Ranjit Mahil, an immigrant from India with a degree in chemistry. In 1992, when he found it hard to get a job in his field, he delivered pizza and eventually got a franchise himself. By 2017, Mahil knew the ins and out of the industry but felt that to be distinct, he would add flavours of India and southeast Asia. Adding store franchises each year in Ontario and Alberta, the concept arrived in Winnipeg with location on Molson, Mandalay and Main Street. Roblin Blvd in Charleswood will be the fourth location.

The opening was attended by Kevin Lamoureux, Liberal MP and covered by the Indian Canadian media.
Charleswood has shown a penchant for different dining experiences in recent years with Japanese, Chinese and fine dining mixed in with well known franchises for fast and casual dining restaurants. But Indian is now starting to expand into suburbs offering well known North American fare with a south Asian twist.
With so many pizza restaurants in Winnipeg, the ability to stand out is a compelling one. And butter chicken pizza could become a favourite for those in Charleswood.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Curry Up Indian Kitchen Coming to Kenaston Village

 
The sign is up, the restaurant is not. It is still being worked on. I was at Bulk Barn on the weekend and saw the sign and figured it was in the spot next to the old Kenaston Walk-In Clinic and it certainly looks like it. Still under construction and a few tables but strongly leaning to counter take-out service.

But what is it? Well, I looked it up and it is Indian food and Mexican food ordered like a Subway where you ask to load up how you like it at the counter. Well, if that doesn't sound like a recipe for success nothing will.

I mentioned in earlier posts that one benefit of immigration knows truly well is the international restaurants that pop up. Syrian and Afghan refugees have opened up up some delicious places all over the city.

Curry Up Indian Kitchen has a location on Regent and this will be the first location on the west side of the city. Curry Up at the location shares a space with the the family's other restaurant Goodlife Foods which is a spin-off from the original Thunder Bay location.

Curry Up Indian Kitchen Kenaston will be less dine in and more take out counter and should be open in next weeks.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Housing at Polo Park 2023

All pictures supplied by Cadillac-Fairview and Shindico.

In 2020 the airport made it clear they did not want any housing bungalow or apartments over a vast area in Winnipeg to protect the 24 hour status of Winnipeg International. They did not want complaints to stop the lucrative cargo trade coming in every 15 minutes after the clock went past the stroke of midnight. Keep in mind Winnipeg was still allows noisy 727s to land up to 2019 when Australia had banned them altogether. Many of the aircraft now are 757s which are far quieter although on a nice August night with the windows open it is still noisier than newer Airbus and Boeing passenger aircraft flying.

This is a price to pay for having one of the closest airports to the downtown in Canada. At 20 minutes to downtown, it even outdoes Vancouver. And Vancouver International is not 24 hours. It is 5 AM to 1:30 AM. The late night advantage is where cargo can land, be sorted and on the road and headed to market faster faster than it can be in places like Minneapolis and Chicago. And one of the advantages to the airport of being close to the city is that the city is able to supply the nearly 20,000 jobs of direct and indirect jobs that bring in a few billion to the region.

The airport has been extremely aggressive in protecting that 24 hour status by nixing anything in terms of housing or other developments till now. Other levels of government had to step up to scale that back. Polo Park and surrounding area is one part of the city where airport restrictions were stringent. And taller residential there exists before the zoning acts came into place. It has stymied most building over a few floors. While aviation flight paths should not have to navigate towers, the restrictions have been centered more on possible noise complaints.

Almost every mall in North America is re-considering their surface parking lots. Over the years they have added restaurants, movie theaters and stand alone retail. The closure of several department stores though as left malls scrambling as the answer doesn't seem to be adding more stores. The truth is that no one out there can take 300,000 square feet up like Sears once did. In the case of Polo Park, they converted some space to offices and the ground floor to the furniture store EQ3.
Make no mistake: Although Polo Park is having stiff competition from Seasons in Tuxedo, it still ranks as the top mall in Manitoba. It is owned by Canada's premiere mall developer and manager Cadillac-Fairview. Million have been spent every decade to ensure the mall and surrounding area attract the most desired stores, restaurants and attractions.

Notwithstanding the problems of major retailers failing, security and remaining relevant to a young generation, malls across North America are spending billions to be different in the coming decades. Even Mall of America has had to change with large stores closing and security. For stores closing, hotels have emerged as anchors. And inside, there are 100 security and up to 16 uniformed police. After the latest shooting death there, metal detectors are being tested. And so it goes with malls, arenas and now libraries. Weapons have no place in them.

As far as Polo Park goes, the security concerns are the same as Mall of America. Keep weapons out, stop theft and strong arm robbery and provide a secure, save space to to shop, go to a movie, have a meal or anything else. On that score, there are have been incidents this year which they will have to address as the mall begins its most bold expansion ever: a $1 billion dollar mostly residential building program on surface lots surrounding the mall.

You heard that right. It is $1 billion. The first focus will be on housing on the former Arena and Stadium site north of Polo Park. There are supporters and detractors of the project. First things first though, the land which was formerly owned by the city has been sold. Road improvements have been made on the St. James and Empress side the last few years as well as St. Matthews right off to Route 90. The area is serviced and aside from converted Target and PF Chang's, the land is much like how it looked a decade ago. It is private land that was supposed to be an outlet mall. Seasons of Tuxedo got there first.
So let's go over what the detractors say:

- Too close to the airport. It will hurt the 24 hour status of the airport.

- Too noisy and busy.

- Who wants to live by a mall?

- Too much crime in the area.

- Housing will be poor quality housing.

- Too much traffic in the area.

- Focus should be downtown.

- Who wants anything but a detached home?

- Where would I park?

- Taxpayer getting fleeced.

- Can't be supported by city infrastructure of water, sewer and drainage.

And here is what supporters say:

- A use of existing of city infrastructure attached to existing water and sewer, roads and utilities.

- Is far enough away from the airport that it won't interfere with flight paths or result in noise complaints that shut down the 24 hour status of the facility.

- Is a reasonable use of some of the land that has sat idle for 10 plus years.

- Is private land owned and managed by Cadillac-Fairview and Shindico so should not be banned from building anything but commercial and retail.

- Any building as featured in the renderings are low-rise residential. No tower appears to be above 20 floors.

- The 84 acres of usable space has no equivalent downtown for space all in one area for development.

- Will convert surface mall parking into added decks on the north side by the movie theatre and on the east side of Polo Park. Two decks each for the parkade according to interviews.

- Will bring around 4000 residential units to Winnipeg at a time when overall rental units of any kind of place is hard to get and rising in expense.

- Brings $1.1 billion of spending to Winnipeg over several years and hundreds if not thousand of jobs.
The airport seems to have come along into believing Polo Park's initiative is balanced. That should be good enough for those worried about the status of Winnipeg International as a 24 hour airport. There does not appear to be any 30 floor buildings planned for the area.

Polo Park/Shindico are looking to relax the rules on 1.4 car spaces for every residential unit built. There is a strong case for this with a bus terminal already on site and capacity for more bus service winding through new stops in the area. The strong uptick of Peg City Co-Op means the car rental as you need them business is a strong contender for spaces in this development. Why have two cars when you can have one and a special rental for for a weekend getaway or when you need a different vehicle for certain tasks.

The ten year time frame of construction means the new electric cars and trucks will be the norm and chargers will be everywhere, possibly every residential parking lot as the development proceeds forward. The days of parking your car on city streets overnight will be over. This is the reality of electric vehicles. Even in the new Seasons development there are cars parked on the street near one of the apartments. It has cars parked free 24 hours a day. This seems highly unlikely here or any street ten years from now if a car is electric. The city won't be putting chargers on every street in front of every home. If you park overnight uncharged, you will have to find a place to charge. And in cold temperatures like Winnipeg, it is best to leave plugged in over night. Below 20% and charging in cold weather can damage the cell.

Electric vehicles will change everything about our residential areas in the future. Imagine having one electric charger in a house for a family with four cars. And most chargers in homes are in garages which many people use a storage. To say that everything changes in the next ten years is an understatement. And for those chuckling that their gas car won't have this problem, think again. There will be fewer and therefore busier gas stations. Costco may lay out there parking lot with high speed chargers and make their gas station just a kiosk...if they keep any at all. So significant the changes will be. Storing your car free on the streets and getting a fill nearby in less than a few minutes might be harder...and more expensive.
The CMHC report on rental housing was pretty grim. While other places fared worse, Winnipeg has major issues even with numerous apartments rentals nearing completion. Only 3% fall in the affordable category. Some residents fall into a category of not being able to afford any home on the market presently for a variety of reasons. Some might be in so need of help for addictions, mental health and poverty that even free housing might not be accepted. So deep the problem has become. Moreover, housing built for those on the streets is so expensive that it would seem like a Tuxedo house given the price.

The Polo Park's 4000 units of housing won't likely create affordable options unless CMHC and the province look do something similar to some other programs in Manitoba. However, the need is so great that if there is not more building soon that vacancies could drop to near zero and rents will soar even higher. Canada's immigration is rising to meet a demographic gap that is already seeing many jobs go unfilled as older workers retire from the workforce. Canada it is not the only county facing this. China and Japan are already seeing rapidly aging populations and in the case of Japan, parts of the country are being abandoned as people move to cities and overall population decline.

The difference between Japan, China and Canada is that this country has an accelerated immigration program to bring people to the country. Manitoba has been one of the most successful provinces with the provincial nominee program. It has matched skill needs of the community with immigrants willing to come work those jobs. They have not taken jobs away from Manitobans. These are jobs that have been there for the taking for some time. Even in communities like Thompson of 13,000 people, they are soon to be without veterinarian services. They need four given the size of the city. Vets can earn a good living and where are the people to do the job.

The government of Canada is expecting 500,000 a year for the next five years and beyond. In Manitoba that is tens of thousands of people arriving each year. The pace of house and apartment building must quicken. And with it zoning, inspections and official approvals. Polo Park has 84 acres to create housing. Debate has already lasted nearly three years. It is time to start now as the need is here now.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Towne 8 to Permanently Close Downtown Winnipeg

The last of downtown movie theatres (save for Cinematheque) have permanently closed down. It was 1981 when Canada's first standalone multiplex went up. With 8 screens and 1,726 screens altogether, the Towne 8 was the shape of things to come for movie halls in Canada.

It was a race to see which multiplex would open first in Winnipeg between 7 Cineplex Odeon theatres in Eaton Place or the Towne 8. Ultimately, it was the Towne 8 in August 21 versus Eaton Place on December 18 in 1981. For many people, especially kids, it was amazing. Eaton Place overall was initially busy combined with Eaton's. The mall also included an arcade which came in handy as pre or post entertainment after a movie.

One thing was clear though and that not all theatres are created equal. Eaton Place theatres were small. In fact, some people's theatre rooms at home are probably larger than the smallest theatre at Cineplex Odeon. While this was good for a foreign film with captions, it was less exciting for a an Indiana Jones sequel. Moreover, the Towne 8 had arcade games by the concessions in the theatre! The biggest box office movie was always in Cinema 1 which had 484 seats and Dolby Stereo and 70mm screen.

The Towne's location at 301 Notre Dame was very close to the Capitol and Garrick Theatres and the Odeon (Walker) was right across the street. In 1981, a Tim Horton's restaurant was next door and down Princess Street was Prairie Theatre Exchange.
The Exchange District was just beginning to take off with the Spaghetti Factory and Brandy's down the block and Chinatown still quite active for restaurants. Many of the surrounding buildings were still being used by the garment industry. It would be years till festivals like Fringe and Jazz Fest would be hosted in Old Mark Square. Young people would come downtown for movies, shopping such as record stores and arcades. And we'd all take the bus.

If there was a new golden area for movie houses downtown, it was probably 1980 to 1990. The Towne 8 was an industrial building site housing Silverwood Dairies. You can still see the Silverwood sign on the wall beside the theatre. In 1980, the dairy moved to a suburban site leaving Landmark the opportunity to build the first stand alone multiplex.

The year 1980 was a terrible time for Winnipeg with major industrial losses everywhere such as The Tribune, Canada Packers and Swifts plants shuttering sending thousands of workers to unemployment and in a lot of case migrating to other provinces. To goose the numbers of people attending during the week, Towne 8 did discounts on Tuesdays and were embraced by full houses in 1982. The rest of the country now in recession started to do the same and not just movie houses but restaurants and others.

To make things more interesting for movie theatres like Towne and others was the video rental business was just taking off. Early adopters of VCRs started in 1982 and by 1983, many Canadian homes had VHS or Betamax machine at home. Some of the older single screen theatres were having a tougher time towards the end of the 1980s. Multiplexes became the chosen way to compete against home entertainment. The multiplex at St. Vital Centre in 1986 instantly drew crowds.
For over 40 years of operation, Towne 8 has been bold, innovative and affordable. Like many businesses Covid killed it. In July of last year, it temporarily shuttered because of the difficulty in getting staff. Remaining staff were transferred to the higher end Landmark at Grant Park. As 2022 drew into 2023, half year gone by, the decision was to close permanently. However, the company will not sell to someone who wishes to run a discount theatre. The building is likely to be bought demolished and become housing. 

I enjoyed many visits to the Towne. The $5 tickets were hard to beat in any movie entertainment. Downtown was once alive on many streets with just 29 screens in the 1980s. People lined up in the heart of the city to see movies. The result was a pretty likely evening and weekend crowd.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Burger King Now Open at Seasons at Tuxedo

If it seems like an overflow of activity from Seasons at Tuxedo, it is because so much constructions has reached conclusion, is nearly done or about to put shovels in the ground. The rush is to complete as much as possible. Polo Park is about to embark on a huge expansion with housing and retail and Kenaston Kapyong Barracks. At the pace Seasons is going, it is not unreasonable that by the end of 2023, there will be no undeveloped land left.

Last year Burger King indicated they were going to be opening more Burger Kings in Manitoba and renovating others. True to their word, two more have gone up bring the number in Winnipeg to about 14. One has gone up on Empress and another at Seasons of Tuxedo. During the pandemic pretty much every McDonald's in Winnipeg renovated. Other franchises are only catching up.

Burger King is looking to challenge McDonald's in Winnipeg. For years, they have been in locations that are less lucrative than the Golden Arches. That seems to have changed only recently.
Above the Empress location with Khab Tapioca and Chung Chun Rice Hotdogs. Expect to see more Asian fast food, casual dining and fine dining in Polo Park area in the next years. And the missing area across the city is curry shops.

As noted about Seasons, it isn't a standard mall. If it was, it would have some of the problems affecting the smart centers across the country. They have waited for some miracle retailer that is just not coming.
Just down the street the Smart Centre is struggling to fill spaces that have been vacant for some time. It is only now they they have freed themselves to seek out businesses that would not have had a chance to be located there in the past. In short, the focus on retail with a few restaurants is far too limited for success.

Contrast this with Seasons with a huge residential area, hotels and non-movie house attractions such as Rec Room. Also, contributing to livability are dentist, vet, pharmacies, fitness studios and banks and financial services. What is unacceptable is after ten years is that there is still no sidewalk from Kenaston to Red River Co-Op Grocery. None.
Presently, there are only internal pathways but none connecting south Sterling Lyon. The city is letting down the community. All of Kenaston in the area not having sidewalks is an embarrassment and dangerous.
One section after another of construction is going on so the community should expect to see people explore what is actually present. More and more people are walking within the area. In some cases, it easier to step out of your residence, skip the car and walk to the grocery or pharmacy.
Not as heavy on the cannabis stores here but I'm assuming the days of 200 locations will come to be a rationalization of them. Seasons has a liquor store and a beer vendor too. Say what you will be you know what Osborne Village and South Osborne don't have? A beer vendor.
The pictures above will be the 5000 square foot Krispy Kreme. It will be clearly visible at the busy corner of Kenaston and Sterling Lyon.
Across from Krispy Kreme is IG Wealth Management. Some of their meetings will feature donuts soon.
Few vacancies remain in completed sections. Hair and nail salons are also present. A large medical tests centre is on site.
Foot traffic and car traffic going by from commuters and local residents will come in handy. This week a few more restaurants have shuttered elsewhere in the city because it has been hard to find workers, people have not returned to office and high inflation. It hasn't easy.

At the moment Seasons has the momentum and Burger King opening should see success at such a busy location. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Zellers to Become a Shop-in-Shop Inside The Bay St. Vital

Zellers returns to all of Canada and in Winnipeg, it will open inside the Bay St. Vital Centre. Most of Zellers ended in Canada in 2011 with the arrival of Target which took over most of the locations in the country. Some boutique Zellers have popped up in recent years but this latest push in 2023 are stores ranging from 8000 to 10,000 square feet. It is unknown how big the store in St.Vital's HBC will be.

For St. Vital Centre this can only be thought of as an affirmation that it is a second tier mall in Winnipeg below Polo Park and now Seasons in Tuxedo. A fine mall to be sure but one for the Walmart and Zeller-set. That could change with investment the mall but at the moment, the millions of dollars are being spent elsewhere.

More on this as it comes available.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Arby's Returning, St.Louis Bar and Grill New To Winnipeg

In 2020 the last of the Arby's closed in Winnipeg. It seems every few years some franchises not named McDonald's fade and in some cases die. Case in point is Swiss Chalet which has twice expanded here and twice died. Harvey's is another that has risen and fallen and now has only one location.

Having a good location for your franchise certainly helps and being located in the Seasons at Tuxedo mall will help. As mentioned in other posts, the mall along Sterling Lyon has not had a break in building in a decade. This new Arby's in the city should have a fighting chance between the mall and so many new residents onsite in the last three years.

Also in the same section of the Red River Co-Op Grocery part of the mall is a large Canadian restaurant chain called St. Louis Bar and Grill opening. It is their first location in Winnipeg and will be one of only a few locations they have in the west.

As per an earlier post D Spot Desserts in the same section along with a Dollarama. Curiously, there is a Dollarama across the street. Will that one stay open?
Above will be the Dollarama, D-Spot Desserts and St. Louis Bar and Grill. To the right will be the new Arby's.

The orange tarp is the new Bank of Montreal. 


There has been some musing about the Americanization of Winnipeg through Seasons but it should be pointed out just how much housing is a component from the very start. I can't think of too many malls on American that have around 3000 or more residents that can literally walk a few hundred feet to the mall. While malls can have suburban residential areas around them, to actually have multi-unit homes right inside the footprint is just not the American experience. 

And despite having favourite American stores, it also has banks, insurance, medical clinic, liquor stores, fitness spots, pharmacies, grocery, specialty local stores, local restaurants and the like. A bus loop runs right inside the area. This a different animal compared to past malls. 

For Arby's, the decision to locate here is how many people including tourists who will come. And to that end, it looks like the right place.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Krispy Kreme Coming to Winnipeg

In another coup for Seasons at Tuxedo, they have landed Manitoba's first Krispy Kreme. The donut shop has been in Canada since 2001 but didn't do well the first time around. They started a comeback in 2016 but so far only in Ontario and Quebec and one in B.C. with none in between. Winnipeggers used to go to Fargo to pick up but that one closed years ago. Winnipeg will have the only Krispy Kreme for a thousand kilometers in any direction along Sterling Lyon.
At present the building is not up but a few news ones are near completion. After 10 years of construction, Seasons and surrounding areas are almost complete in retail, residential and restaurant  building. And they will have now have a Krispy Kreme across from IKEA to enjoy.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

D Spot Desserts Coming to Season at Tuxedo

One of the fastest growing Canadian franchises D Spot Desserts is coming to Seasons at Tuxedo. Founded in 2014, it will be Manitoba's first location and another example how the Seasons development is still finding unique offerings over Polo Park. It has been non-stop construction around the area.


As the name suggests, the specialty his desserts. Milkshakes galore, hot chocolate and every dessert in between. However, there are burgers, pizzas and poutines as well on the menu.

It is almost directly across from the Rec Room and the Hilton. And with hundreds of apartments, condos and assisted living homes in the area, D Spot Desserts is just a walk away. The Red River Co-Op Grocery anchors the far end of the parking lot. A Bank of Montreal is going up as well which will give residents even more reason to stay in the area to do their banking, insurance, their vet, their medical clinic and shopping.

For those critical of this development, it is useful to remember that this was the Tuxedo Yards, the rail and depot for containers and trucks. Once the yards reconciled to Symington, they could have remained industrial or sat fallow not earning taxes. This entire area was never going to be just a vast parking lot with IKEA in it. There are hundreds and hundreds of multi-unit houses going up and a bus loop is located in the area. This is what Polo Park wishes to become with the residential component located next to retail and restaurants.

It is for this reason that D Spot Desserts is likely to meet more success at Seasons than Polo Park to begin with. More and more people actually live steps away. As for IKEA, it attracts people from three provinces and they are looking for foods in the immediate area.

Expect to see a splash for D Spot when it officially opens.

 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Family Book Exchange to Close on St. Mary's Road.

For book lovers, 2023 isn't starting off great as a second used book store is winding down. The message in the windows is that after 50 years, the owner is retiring. That has been a common theme. Many shop owners are now decades into running their business. If no one in the family is interested in taking over or your retirement depends on selling the stock and the property, this is the inevitable result. 

No one seems to be in the market to buy. But property itself often has interest from investors. St. Mary's is one of those long streets that has a bit of everything. It is also one of the busiest streets for commuters.
One of the reasons Osborne Village  has struggled in recent years is that landlords don't subdivide large properties and charge so much for rent. The opportunity to buy on the street is rare. So few businesses own the land they stand on. It is why so few businesses that rent don't last decades.

There are other used book stores across town but it takes a special type of person to be a store owner and it takes a special person to be a used book store customer. And the right location on a commercial street with a price fitting a small business is essential.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Nerman's Books and Collectibles Closing

Since 1996 Nerman's Books and Collectibles has been a South Osborne mainstay. Gary Nerman has owned the building since 2005. Like a lot of people working past retirement, the decision to pass on or sell or liquidate the business becomes impossible to ignore. All over the city, I've seen businesses announce retirement and closure. Covid has probably made it easier to thinking about doing so. And at 68, Nerman just needed the right offer and that came in the form of selling his building which not is in the hot community finally being appreciated by many in Winnipeg.
Starting off with the biggest used children's mail order business as a part-time job, Nerman's become a bricks and mortar store on a street that had a few empty storefront. The Park Theatre, for example, had been idle for 10 years. The beginning of closures of mom and pop video stores started around then and only accelerated until there was nearly none. For years there was a few on most commercial streets and they numbered over 200 at one time. Now we see that with cannabis stores.
Nerman's books will not be taken over by a cannabis shop. The owner of the Park Theatre has bought the building and has only said it won't be an extension of the theatre, Erick Casselman has turned the theatre into a cultural center on South Osborne. It has no doubt helped surrounding businesses. 

The South South Osborne Biz in some respects is looking like how things were in the late 1970s and 1980s in Osborne Village where a few families started businesses, bought properties and made the areas what it was in those years. Scott Tackaberry owns Game Knight, Grape and Grain and Dastardly Villian Brewing all on Osborne. It has the same feel of those early years back in the Village when so much was owned by a few entrepreneurial families. Today, it is larger corporations that own the land.

The area could use another used book store but it takes a special person to to it and owning your own property is a must. Rent has gone up so much that it is hard for small businesses to take root, South Osborne still has some possibilities for owner/operator businesses. Part of the long term success of these type of businesses is being able to sell your company/property to other owner/operator. In the past, Osborne Village owners kept the property as a rental which has made it harder for new start ups.

The city will miss Nerman's but the health of South Osborne continues to inspire.