James Ave Closure / Development
Many have noticed the yellow signs on James Ave indicating a "road closure." James Ave is not closing! The City is seeking approval to make it narrower, essentially closing one lane (see plan). That will still leave one lane in each direction and one lane of parking (see attached graphic). Along with this will be sewer upgrades, new sidewalks, boulevards and new light fixtures.
You may have also noticed an article in the Winnipeg Free Press about the most recent (in a long series) plan for the pump house at James Ave and Waterfront Drive. I met with CentreVenture CEO Angela Matheson last week to discuss this latest development, and she shared with me the preliminary plans and artist concept drawings of the proposed development. I was not able to take any with me, but they will be made public after they are presented to a City committee in two weeks.
After having seen many of the past ideas/plans, including the most recent 26 story skyscraper concept, I think most people will like this. According to CentreVenture, this could be the one that actually happens!
The best part of this plan -- the pump house is totally restored and the pumps (photo gallery) would be fully preserved for viewing. There would likely be a mezzanine level built over the pump house floor (which is below grade) with either commercial or residential space that includes viewing down to the pump level.
The development includes a 4 story building constructed in front of the pump house, and a 6 story building on the surface parking lot immediately behind -- both raised on a very high pedestal allowing for easy sight lines to the pump house.
All of this is contingent on many things happening, so who knows?