One of Winnipeg’s most iconic neighbourhoods is about to have the rarest of development opportunities – a blank canvas.
The old Public Safety Building (PSB), the longtime home of the Winnipeg Police Service until it relocated in 2016, will meet the business end of a wrecking ball next year, freeing up land in the middle of the Exchange District.
The PSB is part of a larger 2.5-acre site, part of which will be developed by CentreVenture, the city’s downtown development agency, and part of which will be developed by the private sector.
“We see it as a pretty big development opportunity,” said Angela Mathieson, CEO of CentreVenture. “The Exchange District is a very sought-after neighbourhood. That’s why we’re seeing the conversion of so many heritage buildings. There are very few new sites you can develop in the middle of the Exchange.”
CentreVenture will tackle the smaller southern section, which is on land gifted to the city in the late 1800s, with the caveat that it be used for public purposes. Mathieson said the initial plans call for an affordable housing component as part of a larger $30 million project. She’s looking for mixed-use for the northern section.
There has been plenty of interest in the northern part of the property but Mathieson said, “People want to see what we’re going to do with the south side first.” CentreVenture has launched an international design competition for the entire site