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.
Building on the success of the MTS Centre and in keeping with downtown revitalization efforts of other major North American cities, the Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District (SHED) was established as the focal point of the new Portage Avenue Development Strategy.
While the boundaries may vary, depending on the marketplace, the essence is to create an area that capitalizes on the increased density of users and activities and forges a plan that capitalizes on the extraordinary and underutilized resources of the area.
Key elements in the new “action plan” 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).