Developers in Winnipeg are planning to start construction of what could be the largest residential development in the province for at least the next decade.
The XA Residential Development Group will be building five towers on the south end of the city with a total floor area of 1,400 units.
Construction is expected to start next spring.
The group, which is based in Manitoba’s capital city of Winnipeg, is also the largest developer in the country to have completed a large residential project in the city.
“We are very excited,” said Mike Burt, executive director of the Winnipeg-based company.
“The new development is going to be the biggest residential development that’s ever been done in Winnipeg.”
The development is a big win for the city, which has been battling a housing affordability crisis for years.
It comes at a time when a number of new apartment towers have opened in Winnipeg, including the $1-billion $3-billion HUB Place project in South Station, as well as the $800-million $2.5-billion Centennial Development Centre.
The development in Winnipeg is also part of a growing trend of apartment development in Canada, which continues to increase and is now estimated to total more than 10,000 units in 2021.
That’s a number that is projected to rise significantly over the next five years, according to a report by Toronto-based property research firm Demographia.
“As we have seen in Toronto, the pace of development continues to accelerate and the numbers are on the rise,” said Demographias CEO Paul Bales.
“There’s been a lot of development in recent years, and it’s very exciting to see what we’re seeing now.”
In the U.S., developers are looking at the same situation in a different way.
In 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to build the tallest residential building in the U: a $1.6-billion project to replace the old Commodore Hotel at 96 West 37th Street.
That building is now a part of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Brooklyn.
Developers are also planning to develop the land around the tower to create a new mixed-use complex.
“New York is a city that has been experiencing a housing crisis for a long time and now we are seeing the city becoming a place that is ready for a major development,” said Bales of Demographios.
The number of affordable housing units in the Greater Toronto Area has more than doubled since 2010, but there are still more than 200,000 people living in poverty, according the Toronto Star.
A lot of that is because of the lack of social housing, according Bales, and the development will help to address that problem.
“If you look at the number of people living below the poverty line, there’s only about 60 per cent of the population that is at or above the poverty level,” he said.
“That’s a lot higher than in other parts of the country, but we’re working on that now.”
The group has been working with other developers to help make that happen, said Burt.
“It’s very important to us to help them along the way.”