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The Globe and Mail

Beyond the ice: New developments near Winnipeg's arena

Commercial property interest sharpened as MTS Centre draws hockey crowds downtown

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Doug McKay, director of commercial development for Longboat Development Corporation, stands outside the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, the new hockey arena and home to the Winnipeg Jets. Across the street, Longboat’s Centrepoint project is under construction. The return of the NHL has helped to fuel the first commercial real estate boom in downtown Winnipeg in decades.

John Woods/The Globe and Mail

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Longboat Development Corporation is the driving force behind Centrepoint, a new mixed-use real estate project fronting on Portage Street. It will include a 154-suite Alt boutique hotel, five stories of office space and an adjoining condominium project called the Glass House with 160 residential units.

Stantec Architecture/Longboat Development Corporation

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Building on that new downtown activity, a second mixed-use project has been proposed – the SoPo concept, short for ‘south of Portage.’ This Longboat Development project calls for an outdoor plaza and giant video screen to broadcast hockey games from the MTS Centre. The plaza is designed to accommodate up to 1,200 people for licensed events, 2,000 for open events.

Stantec Architecture/Longboat Development Corporation

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If approved, the SoPo project is to be connected to the downtown skywalk system including MTS Centre. The project includes a proposed hotel with 200 guest suites, two mid-rise office towers, and retail space on the main and second floors of the three structures. Although a handful of condo developments in the area in the past few years has struggled to find a steady market, developers now believe activity has reached a tipping point, and a new generation will look at working, playing and living in downtown Winnipeg as a viable option.

Stantec Architecture/Longboat Development Corporation

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