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  • John G

Winnipeg-Firm / Canadian-Developer Win Architecture Award

[a Press Release supplied to us] An award-winning building design is beginning to rise from the ground in the east Exchange District, as RNDSQR has broken ground on a new apartment complex at 90 Alexander Avenue.

This is the first Winnipeg project for renowned Canadian developer RNDSQR (pronounced Round Square). The company has begun what could become one of the signature buildings in the Exchange District.

“The development at 90 Alexander draws on the emerging vibrancy of Waterfront Drive, something not really seen before in Winnipeg. It will bring more than 300 people to the area,” said RNDSQR CEO Alkarim Devani, noting construction began in January 2021. “The development will focus on innovation, while honouring the historical context of the existing building and the area,” he said, adding all the apartments will be rentals. Winnipeg’s 5468796 Architecture designed the new building, which will be built around the heritage site that began its life as the W.J. Guest Fish Company Warehouse, but is likely better known as the Great West Metal Company Building.

The project sees a conversion of the heritage space to an apartment building with a brand new structure rising around it. In all, the project will feature more than 200 suites, which will range in price from $1,200 to $2,200 per month. In December 2020, Canadian Architect awarded 5468796 Architecture the Award of Merit for the building’s design.

5468796’s Co-founder and Managing Partner, Johanna Hurme, said she and her business partner Sasa Radulovic are both immigrants and grew up in European apartment buildings themselves.

“Apartment buildings don’t often offer common shared outdoor spaces like adjoining courtyards, gardens, places for kids to play, or front stoops for seniors to sit on to watch life go by. Happily, RNDSQR believes in creating a vibrant community, so this project will include some of those elements; promoting and contributing to neighbourly connections and positive well-being and overall health,” said Hurme, adding the main floor will have an open and porous design concept, which encourages residents to interact with one another and spend time in the outdoor areas.

“People forget the Exchange District, in its infancy, was way ahead of its time. We don’t want to wash away the marks of history, but rather honour those heritage marks and bring them into the modern world,” she said.

The building aims to cultivate community and will include a 6,700 square foot commercial space on the main floor for local businesses and coffee shops along Waterfront Drive. RNDSQR announced businesses may now apply as the commercial leasing process is underway. Many restaurants and brewpubs make up the existing business community on Waterfront.

Completion of the seven-story-building and tenant move-ins are expected by July 2022. RNDSQR will offer a pre-lease period prior to the building’s completion in which prospective tenants can put down deposits. The company will be offering tours after the building’s completion during a lease-up period. -30-


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