As construction begins on True North Square, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg are partnering to utilize tax increment financing (TIF) to invest in more than two acres of public space at True North Square, including a skating rink, public stage, public seating and green space, in the next phase of developing the Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District (SHED), Premier Greg Selinger, Mayor Brian Bowman and Mark Chipman, executive chairman, True North Sports and Entertainment Limited, announced today.
“Downtown Winnipeg is undergoing a renaissance,” said Premier Selinger. “Whether it’s the record-high number of people living downtown or the thousands of Manitobans who flock to Jets and Moose games, our downtown is being transformed. While True North Square will include exciting new private-sector housing and retail spaces, we are committing to build publicly accessible spaces, much like other big city downtown squares.”
“True North Square represents a major redevelopment for our downtown and has the potential to be transformative,” said Mayor Bowman. “This investment will help bring more people downtown and continues to build a downtown Winnipeg we can all be proud of.”
Under the existing SHED agreement the province, working in partnership with the city, will prioritize an investment of up to $17.6 million through TIF toward the public space, parks, public skywalks and surrounding roads within the True North project. The partners noted the province will also work with the city to prioritize a further investment of up to $9 million of TIF under an expanded SHED program toward additional public amenities within the SHED district that are in close proximity to the True North Square project. This further investment would be subject to review and approval by City Council.
“True North Square is an ambitious and visionary mixed-use development in the heart of Winnipeg’s Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District,” said Chipman. “Its plazas and parks aim to create an iconic central destination in the SHED while creating a dynamic sequence of connected public spaces that seamlessly unite the MTS Centre with the RBC Convention Centre.
It will reach the highest standard of public space design, creating urban experiences that match the best in North America.”
The True North Square development will serve to create a dramatic public space in the downtown as well as a central focus of the neighbourhood between the RBC Convention Centre and the MTS Centre, the premier said.
The premier noted as a partner in helping redevelop downtown Winnipeg, the province has supported 130 major projects that have leveraged more than $2 billion in downtown renewal including the MTS Centre, Manitoba Hydro Place, the RBC Convention Centre, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and major campus expansions at the University of Winnipeg and Red River College.
“True North Square, and its public spaces, are critical to the SHED vision of seamlessly connecting the MTS Centre to the new expanded RBC Convention Centre,” said Angela Mathieson, president and CEO, CentreVenture. “The benefits of this investment will be felt across the district, attracting even more people to live, work and visit in our downtown.”
The $400-million True North Square development will reshape downtown Winnipeg for the future and will include retail, office and residential spaces, as well as a significant hotel. The expanded SHED program will be supported from a portion of the incremental taxes from the development and will support four distinct developments – Sports Legacy Square and streetscape, True North Square, Carlton Parkway and an inclined park, and will include engaging green terraces, landscaping and tree canopies, skywalk connections, water features, café seating, gathering spaces, public art, specialty lighting, streetscaping, street furniture and fixtures.