By: Bartley Kives
Winnipeg Free Press
WINNIPEG – The City of Winnipeg has finally decided what it intends to do with the $23.6 million it took in from the sale of the Winnipeg Square Parkade in 2009.
Fifteen months ago, the city sold the revenue-generating asset to the owners of the Winnipeg Square and Commodity Exchange tower. At the time, the city planned to wait for the results of a Winnipeg Parking Authority study of downtown parking conditions before deciding how to use the proceeds of the parkade sale.
Tomorrow, city council’s alternate service delivery committee – which oversees the parking authority – will consider a plan to dole out the $23.6 million six ways:
• $5 million will help fund a new mixed-use parkade on James Avenue, east of the Centennial Concert Hall.
• Another $5 million will be used to help redevelop the north side of Portage Avenue.
• $3.3 million will be used to fix the city-owned Millennium Library Parkade.
• $8.3 million will be used to pay down the Winnipeg Parking Authority’s debt to the City of Winnipeg. This debt exists on paper as the result of a former practice of using parking revenues to balance the city’s operating budget.
• $2 million will be held by the city until it decide what to do with the city-owned Civic Centre Parkade, which is in need of repair and could be demolished if the adjoining Public Safety Building is also demolished.
In a separate report, the Winnipeg Parking Authority asked the city to approve $606,000 in funding to conduct “critical short-term maintenance” on the Civic Centre Parkade.