The Manitoba government has provided conditional funding to a unique project combining co-operative housing, commercial space and an arts centre in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village neighbourhood.
Under the proposed development, the existing Gas Station Arts Centre at 445 River Ave. will be torn down and replaced with a new mixed-use facility featuring commercial space, a new theatre and 82 housing units. Of the housing units, 31 are expected to be affordable housing for low- to moderate-income households.
“Many Winnipeggers’ lives are enriched through their connection to the arts and this new project will create a home that reflects their passion,” said Housing and Community Development Minister Mohinder Saran. “We are excited by the opportunity to partner in the development of the Gas Station Arts Centre and Performing Arts Lodge Housing Co-operative project. This unique property will reflect and contribute to the creative, diverse and thriving community in Osborne Village.”
The residential component of the project is a co-development led by the Gas Station Arts Centre (GSAC) and Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Housing Co-operative Winnipeg, an organization created in 2006 dedicated to providing affordable housing and support for seniors and others who are most in need, focusing on members of the arts and entertainment community. The housing co-operative will be open to individuals with a focus on seniors and young adults with low incomes and with a connection to Winnipeg’s performing arts and theatre creative communities.
“We are thrilled by the provincial government taking a leading role in supporting the arts centre,” said Nick Kowalchuk, executive director, GSAC. “This project helps our artistic community find much-needed affordable housing. We would like to thank the Manitoba government for its commitment to our vision.”
Of the 31 affordable housing units, six are expected to have housing charges provided on a rent geared-to-income basis to assist low-income households. The remaining 51 units would have market-rate housing charges. The building will meet Manitoba Hydro Power Smart standards and have several suites suitable for individuals with disabilities.
To supplement provincial support for the affordable housing units, PAL Winnipeg will be responsible for securing other necessary funding for the project to move forward, the minister said. Construction is expected to begin in December 2016.
— Province of Manitoba