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Cadillac Fairview Partners with Shindico to Intensify CF Polo Park in Winnipeg [Interview/Renderings]

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Shopping centre operator Cadillac Fairview is partnering with Shindico Realty to transform the CF Polo Park property and surrounding lands to create a “engaging community hub” in Winnipeg.

The Master Plan vision includes the redevelopment of the former Canad Inns Stadium lands.

The Master Plan vision will create a complete community including a mix of residential, amenity and retail uses, a range of new parks, open spaces, a combination of private and public streets, as well as pedestrian and cycling connections centred around CF Polo Park, the largest shopping centre in Manitoba.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a vibrant community around the most successful shopping centre in the Prairies. Shindico is excited to have attracted this significant investment in Winnipeg,” said Sandy Shindleman, President of Shindico.   

Cadillac Fairview and Shindico Unveil New Master Plan Vision for CF Polo Park (CNW Group/Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited)

“For more than 60 years, the centre has proudly served as a second downtown to Winnipeg and our redevelopment plan extends our long-term vision to further expand the community,” said Wayne Barwise, Executive Vice President, Development, Cadillac Fairview, in a statement. “We are thrilled to be in a position today to share the plans and will be submitting an application to rezone the Polo Park lands in the coming weeks.

“As we embark on the next phase of Polo Park, we continue to bring exciting new retailers to Winnipeg, and look forward to announcing some new first to market retailers in the coming months.”

Shindleman said the application for the project will be submitted to the City of Winnipeg in a month or so. 

“We’re very hopeful that we can get some sort of entitlement certainly this year by the fall and then we would finish the planning and go into the ground in 2024,” he said, adding full build out will take about 10 years.

“There’s a shortage of labour and a shortage of trades as we look out from today’s point of view. So trying to do it in a faster method it would be even more costly and we’re cost conscious. We can’t sacrifice design or quality.”

Shindleman said the Polo Park lands are about 84 acres, including the vacant former Canad Inns Stadium. He said the development plan is to have about 4,000 residential units for about 5,000 people living on the site. 

“The Polo Park shopping centre was built by the Cadillac Corporation in 1959 and Cadillac Fairview has expanded it and improved it so much that it’s one of the premier shopping centres on the Prairies. It’s always been well-anchored and well accepted by Manitoba. It trades into Ontario, Saskatchewan and North Dakota and Minnesota as well,” he said. 

“We’re looking at quite a few buildings. About a dozen. Midrise is what we’re planning. If we add a hotel or assisted living we could go a little higher, and may.

“It’s going to be all rental. We haven’t been in the condo business and our partners Cadillac Fairview are interested in long-term cash flow for their pensioners of the Ontario teachers’ retirement. And it’s an asset that can’t be duplicated. So it’s certainly the intention of the partners to make this the premier rental community in Manitoba.”

The residential development could also have office and medical space as well as more retail.

“All of those things are possible but the focus is going to be on the rental community, on the livability community, sustainability and lifestyle,” said Shindleman.

Cadillac Fairview and Shindico Unveil New Master Plan Vision for CF Polo Park (CNW Group/Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited)

The surrounding lands to Polo Park are bounded by Portage Avenue, St. James Street, St. Matthews Avenue, and Empress Street. CF and Shindico acquired the site over a decade ago and began engaging with stakeholders on the vision in 2018.

Cadillac Fairview is a globally focused owner, operator, investor, and developer of best-in-class real estate across retail, office, residential, industrial and mixed-use asset classes. Wholly owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, CF manages in excess of $42 billion of assets across the Americas and the United Kingdom, with further expansion planned into Europe and Asia.

Internationally, CF invests in communities with like-minded partners, including Stanhope in the UK, Lincoln Property Company in the U.S., and Multiplan in Brazil. The company’s Canadian portfolio comprises 68 landmark properties, including the Toronto-Dominion Centre, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Tour Deloitte, CF Carrefour Laval, CF Chinook Centre and CF Pacific Centre. 

Since 1975, Shindico, based in Winnipeg, has been a market leader in commercial real estate and investment management in Canada, providing full service to owners and occupiers of retail, office, industrial and multi-residential property. 

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

1 COMMENT

  1. Polo Park is indeed Winnipeg’s second downtown, and as far as retail, it is now by far the first. As Sandy Shindleman said in your audio interview, Downtown Winnipeg has not been significant for a few decades now. The old city-centre has become a secondary historical district with some offices (now largely vacant as a result of coronavirus and the acceleration of work from home) and a few attractions like The Forks, museums and the Legislature. It’s as if the city’s retailers collectively decided to pack up and move a few kilometres down Portage Avenue. With their planned redevelopment of Polo Park and the surrounding area , especially the proposed addition of residences, Cadillac Fairview and Shindico Realty are attempting to create in Winnipeg the sort of vibrant de facto central district that city officials and developers have struggled to create (with limited success) near Portage and Main for the last half-century. Is Polo Park the most successful mall on the Canadian Prairies? If Alberta is also a prairie province, is Polo Park more market-dominant than Chinook Centre in Calgary or West Edmonton Mall? The claim is arguable, but credible.

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