Winnipeg’s 110-year-old St. Regis Hotel demolished to make way for new mixed-use building

The St. Regis Hotel, which stood near the corner of Smith Street and Portage Avenue in Winnipeg for more than a hundred years, was torn down this weekend to make room for a new development.

Local developer Rockport Investment Group is planning a mixed-use project for the site that would include retail, parking, office space and residential units.

The hotel, originally constructed in 1910, has been shuttered since the summer of 2017, in anticipation of what turned out to be a failed attempt at another development on the site.

Richmond Hill, Ont., developer Fortress Real Developments bought the property in 2015, planning to use it for the now-cancelled SkyCity Centre tower project.

The St. Regis project was slated to be the first phase of the larger SkyCity complex, which was supposed to be anchored by a 45-storey residential tower on the site of the adjacent surface parking lot at the corner of Smith Street and Graham Avenue.

A condition of Fortress’s purchase of the property was that construction begin by April 2017. 

When that didn’t happen, CentreVenture, an arms-length downtown development agency for the City of Winnipeg, gave Fortress another year, but then bought the hotel back in late 2018 after the Fortress project failed.

Rockport paid $3.2 million for the property, in a deal that closed in mid-October of this year.

“We’re happy that there is a development plan moving forward,” said Angela Mathieson, CEO of CentreVenture.

“We were always confident that this site would be attractive for development and at the time that CentreVenture purchased [it], that was really … kind of the beginning point of the SHED strategy,” said Mathieson, referring to the sports, hospitality and entertainment district that has sprouted up around Bell MTS Place.

Rockport’s project is in the architectural planning stage and is slated to begin construction in 2021, according to CentreVenture’s website