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The city is set to begin renting out more than 60,000 units of vacant property in a move that is expected to create about 25,000 new jobs and generate an estimated $100 million in economic activity.
The city’s rental application to the federal government is set for release on Monday.
It’s part of an ongoing $2-billion program to help build more than 7,000 rental homes.
It includes funding for a $300-million renovation of the downtown Winnipeg Convention Centre and other downtown properties.
The $150-million downtown expansion will be the city’s first major project in more than a decade.
The project includes a $250-million expansion of the main convention centre, a $150 million extension of the Convention Centre Station, and a $125-million extension of Winnipeg Centre.
The expansion is expected be completed in the spring.
Winnipeg’s downtown expansion The city has a long history of building and renovating downtown, including $1.4-billion projects that were completed before the recession, according to a report from the city.
In 2012, the city announced $5.5-billion in investments that would help redevelop downtown.
More recently, the province approved a $2.2-bilion bond that will pay for the project.
In an interview with CBC News on Friday, city manager Gord Johnson said the city is hoping to create jobs and increase property values, but said it has to make sure the buildings are safe and have good ventilation and safety.
«We need to make certain that we have a safe place for people to live and work,» Johnson said.
The downtown area is struggling to grow. «
I don’t think we have that now.
The downtown area is struggling to grow.
It needs to be sustainable.»
The city was looking for a new downtown development in a report that was released in June, just before the provincial government approved a massive capital spending plan.
Johnson said that report recommended the city expand downtown, which would require a total of 7,600 new homes.
That plan also called for the city to begin accepting applications for vacant buildings.
The new program is expected cost the city $1 billion.
The federal government announced a similar program in 2016, but Johnson said it took a while for Winnipeg to get going.
«It was very slow and not the right size,» he said.
Johnson says Winnipeg will not get any new housing as a result of the program.
He said the cost of the new rental units is still being determined.
The program is part of the city planning process to bring back some of the lost downtown properties that have been converted to hotel and convention spaces.
«When you’re looking at a project like this, you don’t really think that’s going to happen.
You have to look at what the long-term benefit of the project is going to be,» Johnson told CBC News.
«There’s going be a significant impact on downtown, but that’s not what we’re thinking about right now.»»
There’s going be a significant impact on downtown, but that’s not what we’re thinking about right now.»