Consumerwatch: Condo developments in downtown Winnipeg
Published Monday, May 27, 2013 9:44AM CST
Last Updated Monday, May 27, 2013 11:55AM CST
New condos are popping up all over downtown Winnipeg, but is there enough demand to meet the supply?
The Glasshouse is sleek modern condo designed by Toronto developer Urban Capital. It has 195 suites complete with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, a first for Winnipeg.
"You get great light, very modern, contemporary, great views," said designer Grant Algar.
The project will be located behind the new ALT Hotel across from the MTS Centre. Units will range in size from 450 square feet (41.8 square metres) to 800 square feet (74.3 square metres). Prices start at $170,000.
“Fifty units sold out of 195,” said Algar. “People love it. They're shocked at the size, how it's so livable."
The Glasshouse isn't the only downtown housing development.
D-condos are being built on Assiniboine Avenue at the site of the old Dubrovnik's restaurant. The Heritage Landing apartment tower is planned further down Assiniboine and more apartments are being built on Waterfront Drive.
Condos have also popped up on Market Avenue and James Avenue in the Exchange District. The proposed high-rise on Graham Avenue is also expected to house condos.
Realtor Bill Thiessen said the condo vacancy rate is sitting at about zero per cent. Even so, he said there likely isn't enough demand to fill the nearly 1,000 units available in the next two years.
"I just don't see all new Winnipeggers to fill those spots in one swoop,” he said. “I think what they're counting on is investors to buy them at 10 or 50 at a time. That's what their plan is. That's the only tangible one I see."
Still, local developer Karampaul Sandhu of D-Condos said he's already sold 40 per cent of his 91 suites.
"We like to think we're more of a luxurious offering,” he said. “Bigger units, better finishes, we feel."
Both Sandhu and Algar said, with the MTS Centre, a new hotel, and more restaurants on the horizon, downtown is becoming a more desirable place to live.
"I can see it changing,” said Algar. “There's a shift, even from when I was here last summer. I can feel the vibe. It's happening."
The Glasshouse and D-Condo projects are expected to be completed by 2015.
- with a report from Karen Rocznik