New tenant found for Esplanade Riel Bridge

A new tenant for the Esplanade Riel Bridge has been found and this time it will not be a restaurant.

Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc., which is operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator (MTA), is being recommended by the city’s Public Service as the winning bid to take over the space.

MTA is a not-for-profit business incubator that focuses on helping entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies grow their business ideas.

Their goal is to make Winnipeg the start-up capital of western Canada.

The 4000 square-foot property at 50 Provencher Boulevard will be transformed from its current restaurant footprint into office space with a public-facing component.

Pending approval from the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development MTA plans invest $240,000 renovating the building over the first two years of the lease and create the Technology Commercialization Hall of Fame.

The property was left vacant by its most recent tenant restaurant Mon Ami Louis in February of 2020. The building’s high operating costs, seasonal use and parking issues have caused problems for the building’s three previous restaurant tenants.

A request for proposals for the property went out back in February with a closing date of April 16.

Two submissions were given and the choice was made based on five evaluation criteria. They included lease terms, proposed development plan, economic development/tourism, and experience. However, the submission evaluations were weighted towards the prospective tenant having a sustainable financial plan to avoid future vacancy issues.

Details of the other proposal were not released. The proposed lease is a five-year term with an option for another five years at similar terms.

The rent is $20,000 per year or about $5 a square foot.

The city won’t incur any costs as a result of the agreement.

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