Join Us in Creating a Shared Vision for a New Mixed-Use Community at Portage Place Mall

History of The Mall

 

Following the creation of the North Portage Development Corporation in 1984, one of the first major initiatives to revitalize and redevelop areas north of Portage Avenue was the construction of Portage Place Mall. The facility intended to host a mix of commercial retail and office spaces along with theatres, YM-YWCA, skywalk connections, an indoor public space and underground parking stalls. 

 

Currently, the sheer size of Portage Place has cut three city blocks out of the community ‘fabric’ of the area. It essentially created a wall in the downtown that has acted as both a physical and social barrier to creating and sustaining the centre of Winnipeg. The Mall is largely considered a ‘dead zone’, characterized by negative stories about crime and urban decay. 

 

The proposed redevelopment scheme envisions breaking apart the wall by introducing a north-south pedestrian linkage. Thoughtful interventions will reduce the current oppressive impact. While not the only solution, the re-establishment of the north side of the mall to the south side along Portage Avenue and the introduction of a community space will assist in repairing the social and physical damage to the downtown initially created by the mall. 

 

Scroll down to see the exciting concepts that we are proposing for the site and be a part of this on-going discussion. These interventions present a clear and present opportunity to animate the downtown in a way that is so monumental that it cannot be overstated.

 

Interior of Portage Place

Our Goals

The redevelopment of Portage Place Mall will be established through extensive community and stakeholder conversations, which will lead to bringing a Complete Community concept to Downtown Winnipeg. Through the initial stakeholder conversations, it has been highlighted that integrating into the existing fabric of the area, celebrating the diversity of downtown, and bringing life back to the street are the most critical components. The proposed development, a new state-of-the-art mixed-use complex, will create street-level retail & office space along Portage Avenue for restaurants, groceries and community amenities. These amenities will include spaces for community and cultural programming, along with 2 new public green spaces that will provide large areas for community gathering. Additionally, opening up and activating the Edmonton Street pedestrian thoroughfare will improve access to Central Park and bridge the south and north sides of Portage Avenue. 

Over 500 residential units are planned throughout the site. The new complex as a whole is intended to support both new residents and the surrounding neighbourhood to create a place where everyone can live, work, shop, learn and play. Based on continuous consultation with post-secondary institutions, there will be a major focus on student housing. We are also committed to a high standard of design and construction, with the intention of achieve LEED Gold or equivalent certification.

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Project Priorities

The new development will be founded upon 7 distinct priorities. These priorities will define all major components of the design and are laid out in detail below:

Economic Benefits

  • About $698 million in economic activity ‐ $329.1 million of which is direct economic activity

  • About $325 million in net contribution to GDP

  • About 3,343 person‐years of employment

  • About $199 million in income for households

  • Some $129 million in business operating earnings

  • $83 million in tax revenues, generated across all levels of government

Altus Economic Development Report  >

Infrastructure

  • Extending pedestrian connections through Edmonton Street, knitting north and south Winnipeg together

  • At-grade links and pedestrian walkways to reconnect the city that bring a human-scale to Portage Place and divide the existing building into 3 distinct sections to integrate street fabric and transit

  • Urban Squares and Courtyards to transform the new pedestrian connections into all-season public realm open spaces

  • Elevated Skywalk system facing the street that relocates circulation from the building interior to the exterior public realm

  • Transit and Alternative Transportation Hub to include Electric Vehicle Charging, Bike and Car Share Programs - Cycling will be supported through bike parking, bike wash, e-bike chargers and maintenance stations

  • Water, wastewater and storm systems upgraded where required to accommodate new residential, office and retail programs

  • Electrical and IT systems upgraded to accommodate new residential, office and retail programs

  • Disaster Relief for City of Winnipeg with Emergency Generator and Shelter

Safety and Security

  • Increasing activity, embracing diversity and illuminating street life in the Downtown core  

  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles will be used throughout the site

  • Eyes and ears on the street with outward facing retail and commercial spaces and an illuminated exterior skywalk

  • Greater transparency between interior spaces and the street

  • Spaces for Local Safety and Security Organizations and Community Policing, such as the Bear Clan Patrol

  • Spaces for Public Education and Awareness

  • On-going community engagement with local landowners and nearby residents, as well as consultation with local Law Enforcement, Fire and Ambulance Services

  • Modern and upgraded Life Safety Systems including Non-Combustible Construction, Fire Safety, Alarm Systems and Blue Light Public Call System

Accessibility and Inclusion

  • Development of a Complete Community that integrates live, work, learn, shop and play

  • Accessibility to support diversity in physical and mental ability, gender, culture, and orientation

  • Welcoming spaces and amenities for local community including public spaces for gathering, sitting, relaxing and visiting

  • Inclusive Town Square that will act as an urban landmark programmed for year-round use

  • Local Indigenous and Community Stakeholder engagement in planning, design and programming process

  • Dedicated areas to act as: Social Resource Spaces, a Performing Arts Stage, and Community Health Hub.

  • Culturally significant design elements including public art

  • Publicly accessible Wi-Fi

  • Local Markets, Pop-up Programming, Seasonal Events, Concerts and Gatherings

  • Employment and Volunteer Opportunities during Construction and Lifespan

Sustainability

  • Adaptive re-use of a major Downtown facility, integrating a diverse range of uses on site and a reduced embodied carbon footprint.

  • Low impact design strategies that will result in net zero carbon for all buildings.

  • Building design will target LEED Gold or equivalent standards through a variety of sustainable design practices:

    • Heat recovery system

    • Smart Grid, with photo voltaics and battery storage

    • Green and reflective roofing

    • A living wall for high quality indoor and
      outdoor air

    • Integrated waste management for recycling and composting

    • Permeable Landscaping, Drought resistant Planting, Native Species

    • Recycled rainwater

    • Locally Sourced Durable Materials

  • Sustainability Manager to help with asset governance and building operations.

  • Microclimate Support for year-round public comfort – wind, solar, and shadow.

  • Support a “Walkable City” model, focusing on health and well-being through site design

  • Tenant and community education that will include environmental awareness events.

  • Electric Car Charge Stations and extensive cycling support

Amenities

  • Local Culture and Recreational dedicated space program based on community consultation

  • Support existing and attract new retail, including a Grocery Store and Local Markets

  • Child Care and Elder Care

  • Performance Spaces and Theatre Groups

  • Community Health Hub and Professional Services

  • Community Gardens, Green Roofs, Urban Farm opportunities such as beekeeping

  • Support existing amenities on-site with possible expansion of YMCA and Prairie Group Theatre

Housing

  • Approximately 500+ purpose-built Multi-Family,
    Co-living and Student rental units

  • Purpose-built Market and Targeted Rental Housing as a catalyst for live/work/play model intended to increase vibrancy, activity, security and safety in the downtown core

  • Phased development in response to market demand

  • Needs-based, purpose-built Programming in response to Community Consultation

  • Affordable units determined as percentage of housing dedication or re-development of sister sites

Concept Renderings

Move the slider on the images below to see the Mall before and after. 
Click here to view our concept renderings gallery!

 
 

Community Voice

Connecting with stakeholder groups, neighbours and community members to jointly build a vision that ensures an inclusive development that leaves no one behind is critical to our process. These conversations are important and will ensure everyone has an opportunity to share thoughts and goals.  

Engagement Timeline

(Hover over boxes to see details for each step)

Stakeholder Engagement

Online Hub

Public Open House

Focus Group
Input
Sessions

If you would like to kept informed about the project throughout the process, please provide your name and email. We'll let you know about any events or major milestones!

 

Our Team

We have put together an amazing team of professionals to help bring the vision of a new Portage Place to life.

See our bios below to find out more…

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Starlight Developments and Starlight Group Property Holdings Inc. hold a North American portfolio of multi-residential and commercial properties. We are a privately held Toronto-based, full service, multi-family and commercial real estate investment and asset management company driven by an experienced team of over 200 professionals. The company currently manages over $14.0 billion of direct real estate as well as real estate investment securities. Investment vehicles include institutional joint ventures, True North Commercial REIT, Starlight U.S. Multi-Family Funds and Starlight Capital Funds. Our Canadian properties are located from coast to coast, with more than 30,000 rental units across Canada. The Starlight Developments team has over 100 years of combined experience and a development pipeline of 15 million square feet and have completed several community-building developments. Please visit us on our website and connect with us on LinkedIn

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Starlight Developments is a division of Starlight Investments

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