News / Winnipeg

Downtown Winnipeg developments to bank $6.4M in grants

True North Sports & Entertainment submitted their plans for a $400-million tower and square to the city two weeks ago, says city staff.

The Glasshouse, left and Marie Rose Place, are eligible for $6.4M in public grants. Rose Place

The Glasshouse, left and Marie Rose Place, are eligible for $6.4M in public grants.

More than $6.4 million in tax revenue will be paid out in grants to the developers of two new downtown Winnipeg properties.

Marie Rose Place on Edmonton Street will receive $767,900 and the Glasshouse Lofts on Hargrave Street is eligible for $5,658,000, according to John Kiernan, director of the planning, property and development department.

The amounts of both grants are split between provincial and city dollars, with the city doling out a combined amount of $3 million.

Simply put, these downtown grants offer a type of tax-increment financing (TIF) that incentivizes private developers to build in the area.

Kiernan said the grants were conditionally approved back in 2012, and will be paid out in lump sums once each development is fully constructed, occupied and added to the tax roll.

Marie Rose Place, a 40-unit development that provides transitional housing to newcomer families, is complete and eligible for the money, which equals the value of 15 years of municipal property taxes.

Glasshouse, a 195-unit, 21-storey condo tower situated across the street from the MTS Centre, is partially occupied and is expected to be on tax roll in 2017, Kiernan said.

Three 'SHED' properties removed

But first, Wednesday’s executive policy committee will have to give their stamp of approval to remove both these properties – as well as a future luxury hotel to be built on Carlton Street near the $400-million True North square development – from the sports, hospitality and entertainment district (SHED).

This is an 11-block area of land in which properties are eligible for a different tax-increment financing that goes towards the development of public amenities in the downtown.

“In essence, we can’t use the same tax dollars twice,” Kiernan said on Monday.

“These investments, be it the downtown residential development grant or SHED as proposed – it’s really about stimulating private investment.”

In Wednesday’s report, staff explain that future tax revenue generated from Sutton Place & Residences will be used to pay for the $16 million the city has committed to back in debt for the development of the RBC Convention Centre.

Kiernan said no other properties in the SHED required to be removed due to conflicts with this downtown grant program.

Report on True North square TIF coming ‘soon’: Kiernan:

Kiernan says in the past two weeks, True North Sports & Entrainment has submitted their building plans for True North square – a $400 million development that includes two towers, a parkade and public plaza.

In January, Bowman and former NDP premier Greg Selinger announced $26.6 in property tax revenue would go towards public amenities around the site.

At the time, Bowman said the city’s $9 million contribution would require council approval and go towards the “surrounding blocks of the development.”

Kiernan said on Wednesday staff are currently determining exactly how and where that TIF money would be spent in hopes of coming forward with plans “in a reasonably soon horizon."

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