Thanks to a new wave of construction, and several tech leaders moving into the city, Downtown Winnipeg is now benefiting from strong economic momentum. For starters, construction is finally underway for 300 Main Street, a new 40-storey mixed used tower developed by Artis Real Estate Invest Trust. Once completed, this tower will become Winnipeg’s tallest skyscraper leaving behind the previous record holder, the 33-storey 201 Portage.
Unlike other apartment towers, 300 Main street isn’t being built on cleared land; it’s being developed right on top of the Shops of Winnipeg Square mall. Since it is located right in the middle of downtown, residents of 300 Main Street will be only a few minutes away from the Bell MTS Place (home of the Winnipeg Jets), the Millennium Library, and the RBC Convention centre. These locations form part of the growing Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District (SHED).
Other Winnipeg landmarks, such as Old Market Square, City Hall, Shaw Park the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks Market are also just a short walk away from 300 Main Street.
Once completed, 300 Main will carry a total of 400 apartments, as well a mixture of office and retail space. Amenities include a fitness centre, games room, 40th Floor Skylounge, and meeting rooms.
300 Main becomes tallest building in Winnipeg
It will be the tallest skyscraper in Winnipeg. This was a priority for Artis REIT’s executive vice-president Frank Sherlock. “We wanted to build a landmark apartment building that would differentiate from anything else in the city,” Sherlock said. “Being tall is important.”
Dayna Spiring, the president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg said that adding more apartments in downtown Winnipeg is an important and logical step that was long overdue.
“We’ve built Portage and Main to be the epicentre of the business community. Putting residential on that corner is a great opportunity. We have people who will live and work downtown, and when you have that kind of concentration at that corner, it’s a good thing for the city,” Spiring said.
Tech industry booming in Winnipeg
Just a couple of blocks away, several tech companies are already making their mark in downtown Winnipeg. Video game developer Ubisoft Entertainment, the creator of multi-million copy selling video game franchises such as Assasin’s Creed, Rayman and Far Cry, recently inaugurated its new office in the historic Merchants Building. The building is located only a few blocks away from 300 Main. Though it only has 25 employees, Ubisoft plans to quadruple that amount within the next 5 years. Ubisoft ultimately plans to invest around $35 million in the province as it expands operations.
Leading food delivery company SkipTheDishes is also growing significantly in downtown Winnipeg. It now operates in five different locations, and is hiring around 175 people a month.
“We’ve seen the momentum shift in the city with what we’ve built, and are investing in,” said Spiring. “It’s not just keeping the lights on. We’re investing in becoming a world-class city.”