Thursday, August 20, 2009

Any better ideas?

It has been interesting reading in the Free Press today how Centre Venture has been rattling their sabres at CanadInns for stalling on the redevelopment of the Metropolitain Theatre on Donald Street. If private development downtown wasn't so risky, unconventional or slow-moving, there would not be any reason for Centre Venture to exist. They seem to have forgotten that.

There was a time that seeing a dynamic and lucrative business environment downtown was the ultimate goal of Centre Venture, but more recently they have seemed to become enticed by the pursuit of the "ideal tenant"; joining the downtown commercial real estate crowd in salivating at the thought of the central business district becoming one big bureaucrat ghetto for swelling, inefficent, bottom line-free government departments.

I'm not defending CanadInns, or the apparently slow progress at The Met, but are there any other, better ideas Centre Venture has for the heritage theatre vacant for 22 years? Is there another non-profit agency that wants to build a brand new headquarters on that site? Does that stretch of Donald Street suffer a lack of historical-themed parking garages? Is the WRHA "bursting at the seams" faster than Man-Shield Construction can put up brick composite? Maybe C.V. Chair Jim Ludlow's boss at True North and his consortium wants another kick at the cat?

Risky, unconventional and slow-moving project are what Centre Venture Development Corp. was created to offer. If they can't be there to make risky private money projects happen, why are they there?


Main Street north from Logan Avenue, 1962. From the U of M's Winnipeg Building Index. Click to enlarge


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Centre Venture needs to be shut down.

They skew market values and add a layer of nothingness with a cost.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Fat Arse said...

What are Center Ventures terms of reference anyway?

12:37 AM  
Blogger unclebob said...

I am not sure how a public sector funded body has the expertise to comment on any private sector issue.

It just goes to show you how outrageous and how out of purpose our not for profits have become

9:56 PM  

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