WINNIPEG – The Forks North Portage Partnership unveiled it’s concept for what the undeveloped gravel lot at The Forks could look like in as little as three years.
“In 2018, people would be living here, and playing here, and parking their cars here,” said Jim August, Forks North Portage Partnership.
The two largest surface parking lots in downtown Winnipeg, known as Rail Side and Parcel Four, could be turned into 700 public parking spots, green space, five buildings filled with 500 apartment and condo units, and shops on the ground floors. All at a price tag of $200 million of private capital investment.
“If Winnipeg wants to grow and keep up with Vancouver and Calgary they have to put the money into it just the same,” said Winnipegger Cheryl Walker.
If approved by the City, the project will be completed in two phases. The first area to be developed will be Rail Side which could take three to five years and another five years after that for Parcel Four’s area.
Jino Distasio, director of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg says about 16,000 people call downtown home and he’d like to see that number grow to 20,000 in the next decade, but it won’t be easy.
“I think Winnipeggers, rightly so, will preserve the quality of The Forks site as much as they can and they fiercely fought development over the past two decades so let’s get to the point right now that we can get to the stage, come to some decisions and really redevelop it,” said Distasio.
The plans will be presented to a city hall committee next week before a public hearing on July 7th.