Thursday, July 31, 2008

There goes the neighborhood?

What's going on in West Broadway? Months after Mr. Nygaard blasted away the corner of Sherbrook and Broadway to expand the neighborhood's "little Kenaston" up Sherbrook Street at Portage, Christian Cassidy (West End Dumplings) has spotted the old familiar chain link fence enshrouding a 1920s-era brick building at Broadway and Balmoral, suggesting demolition is coming soon. These chain link fences around buildings have seemingly become as common a sight around central Winnipeg as construction or renovation fences are in other cities.



Mr. Cassidy has yet to hear back from the West Broadway Development Corp. on what will replace this structure (or if it is even being demolished), but the lack of signage saying something is "coming soon", and no stories in the local media--even the most boxy strip mall would warrent some kind of attention in the newspapers--suggests little more than gravel surface.

Far from bearing any architectural or historical significance, this building is inexpendable for reasons always overlooked in Winnipeg: its form and its function. Its form through standing all the way up to the sidewalk, presenting doors, windows and quality building materials to the street, it essentially makes the corner and defines the urban space. Its function through (up until very recently) housing small businesses, a vacuum dealership (every old neighborhood commercial strip in Winnipeg has one) and a chiropractor's office.

Remember when WB had a gentrification problem? If property is more valuable as parking lots than as used commercial buildings, you know the gentrification problem has officially subsided. Good thing, too, since in a different universe, that corner shop would have made a great Starbucks.

***
EDIT Thanks to a Sam for leaving a comment with some positive word on what's going on with at this site:
"The building is being demolished at the corner of Broadway & Balmoral and will be replaced by a two story commercial building which will again house the Chiropractor & the vacuum shop. That is why they are just across the street!
The current building has structural problems and cannot meet code."

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm.... Hopefully someone will spill the beans as to what is going there. Both the vacum shop and the chiropracter have moved across the street, so I assume the building is being torn down or why else would they go to the trouble of packing up to relocate 30 seconds away.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Cycling Guy said...

What's happening at Sherbrook and Broadway? And which corner?

I was up Sherbrook yesterday and noticed a NW corner missing its building, but I don't recall the cross street. I think it was near Stella's, so does that mean Westminster?

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed some building was demolished too, but I can't remember what was there before.

It was at the NW corner of Sherbrook @ Westminster.

We need to take more digital photos, so when things like this happen we'll know what WAS there before we saw the mud.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Money talks, bullshit walks or in this case buildings get demolished.

Wanna save buildings, pony up, Can't afford it, too bad.

Reality sucks.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous mr. anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Woodlawn Building, the last one standing on what used to be the E 55th strip in Chicago's Hyde Park. Occupying the corner storefront is—you guessed it—a Starbucks.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

The building is being demolished at the corner of Broadway & Balmoral and will be replaced by a two story commercial building which will again house the Chiropractor & the vacuum shop. That is why they are just across the street!
The current building has structural problems and cannot meet code.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

last time I checked fixing a building is always cheaper than demo and new construction.

Under the current Mayor and Planning Director their is no sharing of your vision for a renewed neighborhood.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

last time I checked fixing a building is always cheaper than demo and new construction.

Under the current Mayor and Planning Director their is no sharing of your vision for a renewed neighborhood.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous mr. anonymous said...

Let's see the design of this "two-storey commercial building."

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Cycling Guy said...

That would be amazing if it's actually going to be a 2-story building. Even Osborne Village couldn't command a 2-story building just a few years ago (i.e. TD Trust).

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TD trust did not need a two story building. Its not the neighborhood that demands things. Its the tenant.

Unless the community is pro-active and goes after those type of things.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

RE: corner of Sherbrook and Westminster:
I contacted Dorchester Developments a few weeks back after no one in the area knew anything about the fate of that site. Turns out they are doing a mixed use 2 storey building with commercial on the main floor. The old building was demolished because of a fire in the house that stood behind the travel agency.

10:41 PM  

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