I think this is one of the big downtown questions right now, don’t you?
Change is part of what makes downtown great, in my humble blogger opinion. I like that there are new stores and new restaurants to visit – but of course, sometimes it means that something old has to go so something wonderful and new can grow. It’s sad, but it’s an opportunity too – if the Chocolate Shop restaurant hadn’t closed, for example, we wouldn’t have the incredible Arkadash bistro downtown.
A whole lot’s been appearing in the papers in the last couple of days about The Bay Downtown – the Target takeover means the Zellers downstairs is closing, so there’s more space open downstairs as well as some open upper floors. I’m sad they’re closing, but that also means there’s a big opportunity to think about what should go there. Is it office space, more space for the University of Winnipeg, something else entirely?
Some people think it should be renewed retail –
incentives are provided for manufacturers to locate in Manitoba and create employment opportunities. Why not a retail department store? Particularly when the property in question is a historic building that all would agree is an irreplaceable landmark in the urban centre.
The May 1 Globe and Mail reported the Bay is considering the concept of “a store within a store.” More specifically, the Bay might invite Bloomingdale’s (an upscale U.S. department store owned by Macy’s) to operate within HBC department stores in Canada.
I have no doubt this concept is under consideration for the downtown stores in Toronto, Vancouver and, perhaps, Calgary.
– Charles Huband, “The Bay is key to downtown renewal,” Winnipeg Free Press May 2012
Comments in the most recent article have lots of ideas, like mixed use. One of the most popular comments:
Grocery and pharmacy in the basement, retail on the main and second floors, condo’s and or offices on 3, 4 and 5, restaurant(s) with roof top patio on the 6th.
Now, don’t have the perfect answer – although I have to admit I like both the above ideas! – but I think it’s one of the most amazing buildings in the city, and finding the right fit for it could lead to some amazing things. So what do you think? What do YOU want to see sharing space with the Bay downtown?