New Student Oriented Apartments on Pembina

I’m very pleased to report the new apartment-style development designed for students on Pembina Highway is proceeding. This project has passed the initial approval stage, and Council and I will be meeting with the developer in the coming months to finalize exterior and landscaping designs. The 14-storey unit contains just over 600 beds and will have over 500 parking spots for bicycles. The unit will alleviate some of the pressure to convert single family dwellings in the Fort Richmond and University Heights communities into illegal rental properties.

It is noteworthy that this apartment block, along with the recently approved Terrasse Boisjoli complex, are the FIRST two developments in Winnipeg to be approved with a crash wall along the rail line in compliance with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations.

May thanks to The Sou’Wester for covering this story.


Committee approves plans for student oriented apartments


A new, student-oriented apartment complex near the University of Manitoba is moving forward despite concerns from neighbours.

A subdivision, rezoning, and variances for a 14-storey, 197-unit residential development at 2525 Pembina Hwy. were approved at Riel community committee on Sept. 12.

 The development, which is marketed specifically to students and offers fully furnished suites for rent, is the first for Rise Real Estate in Manitoba. The company has developed a handful of properties in university towns in the southern Ontario region.

“Developments of this scale and nature, from our perspective, have traditionally been reserved for larger markets such as those in the GTA. But when we started to look at the Winnipeg market we realized that Winnipeg is emerging as a solid, balanced market,” Brian McMullan, vice-president of  business development with Rise Real Estate, said.

While the complex is billed as part of the solution to high-pressure housing demands and illegal rooming houses in the Fort Richmond and University Heights communities, neighbours next door to the proposed development fear their property values will drop.

Ervin Harms lives across the rail line from the development in a seven-storey condominium. Harms said the new tower will block sunlight and increase the noise from the railway as trains pass through.

“We purchased our property because of the open view facing east over the university grounds… the requested change would significantly alter or decrease the value of our property to us,” Harms told the committee. “In the event that this project is approved as presented, we request that the developer purchase our property at the current City of Winnipeg assessment value.”

Other residents of the neighbouring Mosaic condominium expressed their opposition, noting that many new complexes in the area have been approved with seven floors at most.

“I want to state that I’m not opposed to the project but I’m currently opposed to the size of the unit,” Robert Hacault said. “I face the east side, facing the university, on the sixth floor of a seven floor building and we will not really see any sunlight.”

“Having a 14-storey building in an area where all the other buildings recently built or approved are only seven floors will make a difference in the landscape,” he added.

Coun. Janice Lukes said property values should not be affected, based on her conversations with realtors, and said the project presents opportunity for the area.

“I’m very supportive of this project,” Lukes said. “I think ideally, it really should be at the foot of the transit station… but the university and the model that they have set up right now for their lands doesn’t allow that.”
Twitter: @SouwesterWPG

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