NEWS

Blue Bombers stadium to become Target store?

06/28/2012 09:46 EDT | Updated 08/28/2012 05:12 EDT
A retail and residential development has been proposed for Winnipeg's Canada Inns Stadium site, with retail giant Target being pursued as a main anchor tenant.

Mayor Sam Katz said the 26-acres site has been tentatively sold to a group called Polo Park Holdings — a partnership between property-management company Cadillac Fairview and Winnipeg-based land developer Shindico.

The sale price is $30.25 million.

While discussions are happening with Target, there is no guarantee the retailer will move onto the site, as has been reported in some media, Katz noted.

"I know there's been a lot discussed about Target and I think a lot of people are jumping the gun. I know that is certainly a tenant that is being pursued," he said.

The city has been looking since April 2011 for someone to develop the site, adjacent to the Polo Park Shopping Centre, which will be vacated when the Blue Bombers move into their new facility next year.

The city's standing policy committee on property and development will consider the recommended sale at a meeting July 3. City council approval is not required as the property has already been deemed surplus land.

Should the sale be approved, Katz said much of the revenue will go back into the area. The city expects to spend about $20 million in infrastructure improvements around the congested shopping district, he said.

The other $10 million will go to the new Bomber stadium at the University of Manitoba campus. Of that, $7.5 million will be provided as a grant towards construction and $2.5 million to support the development of a community-accessible fitness centre at the U of M.

If approved, the projected start date for the first phase of retail development would be September 2013 and include the main site as well as two additional 7,000-square-foot retail buildings.

Phase two includes development of the balance of the site, to be advanced over the next five to six years, based on market demand.

Jamie Okorofsky, spokesperson for Cadillac Fairview, said development at the Canad Inns site "will be a catalyst for further improvements in the [Polo Park] area, which has seen over $100 million of investment in the past seven years."

He noted that Cadillac Fairview and Shindico also recently teamed together to renovate the former CTV building in the area, adapting the space for commercial and retail use.

"In addition, construction has started on a new retail and office complex next to Polo Park Shopping Centre at the former Winnipeg Arena site. It is expected that this project will be complete in one year," Okorofsky said.

"These two mixed-used developments represent a progressive, sustainable approach to intensification on an existing urban site. We look forward to undertaking more of the same on the new site."

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