Manitoba Housing looking to sell building that has sat empty since 2015
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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has decided to sell a social housing highrise it has owned for almost 45 years because it would cost millions to renovate it to present-day standards.
The building in downtown Winnipeg has been vacant since a water main break in 2015 when tenants were relocated to empty spaces in other buildings.
Families Minister Scott Fielding says the building requires major repairs and does not have the right configuration to offer quality social housing.
A government release says damage from the water leak has been repaired, but it would cost more than $20 million to completely renovate the space.
The highrise was constructed in 1973 and contains more than 300 bachelor and one-bedroom units.
Fielding notes that since the water leaked forced out the building's tenants, more than 500 new social housing options have come onstream and another 130 are under construction.
“We’ve determined this vacant property is the wrong building for us to invest in to renovate and re-tenant,” Fielding said in the release Monday.
"We want to make smart investments and ensure our limited housing resources are invested strategically to meet Manitobans' needs, rather than having public assets remain idle."
The building is in a prime location on Smith Street and could be developed into a mixed office building or residential tower, Fielding suggested.