The Winnipeg Census Metropolitan area is home to over 725,000 residents. Downtown Winnipeg has seen significant changes over the past decade and is continuing to grow and attract new businesses and residents.
CentreVenture Development Corporation has been instrumental in this growth. CentreVenture is an arms-length agency of the City of Winnipeg, is an advocate and catalyst for business investment, development and economic growth in downtown Winnipeg. CentreVenture’s staff, under the guidance of a volunteer, private-sector board of directors, develops and implements strategies to identify and capitalize on economic, physical and social development opportunities in Winnipeg’s downtown (www.centreventure.com).
In September 2010, City Council endorsed the Portage Avenue Development Strategy, prepared by CentreVenture in collaboration with the Downtown Council. Key elements in the new “action plan” for Portage Avenue include:
- Increasing density in the downtown by dividing the area around Portage into four districts:
- The University of Winnipeg District;
- The Retail District;
- The Sports and Entertainment District (the SHED), and;
- The Commercial Office District.
- Concentrate most future retail development on Portage and Graham Avenues between the MTS Centre and The Bay.
- Tie the University of Winnipeg into the Portage re-development by extending the pedestrian skywalk system westward from the Investors Group building to the university campus.
- Bolster the University of Manitoba’s presence downtown.
- Seek to have the area around downtown Portage designated as the city’s first tax increment financing zone (TIF).