Winnipeg CityPlace


Retail Office Mixed Use Complex
Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada 

  • Purchased the property for $49 million (CDN) in 2003.

  • Sold as four separate parcels to a publicly traded real estate REIT for a total sale price of $78 million CDN in 2006.

  • Net profit: $29 million CDN.

  • 190% Cash Return on Equity.


CITYPLACE is a landmark downtown Winnipeg office and retail complex. Key tenants include head office of CN Rail and Manitoba Public Insurance. It features a link to the above ground skywalk system in downtown Winnipeg.

Key Issues

  • Purchased the property for $49 million (CDN) in 2003.
  • The property comprised of an office building, two floor retail section, an indoor. parking garage, an adjacent parking structure, and two surface parking lots.
  • We identified the property as a central link to connect the entire above ground skywalk.


  • Surplus office space in downtown Winnipeg, left us vulnerable to anchor tenant MPI, not renewing their lease.
  • The development of a future arena, could shift the skywalk patterns to other buildings downtown.
  • Limited value to the parking lots as part of the Net Asset Value.

Property Maximization

  • Negotiated a long-term renewal with MPI, by offering to create visible building signage, also making our building a more prominent city fixture.
  • Negotiated with the city and surrounding office buildings to continue the skywalk system to the convention center, thus guaranteeing CITYPLACE would be the central hub (also increasing the rental income of our retail tenants).
  • Partnered with the new arena, and offered them a free rent space in which to sell their season tickets for the hockey season during arena construction, in exchange for marketing efforts and goodwill with our customers.
  • Applied and successfully appealed to the city of Winnipeg to separate the land deed for each parking lot as part of CITYPLACE, so that we had 4 separate assets, thus increasing the value significantly.
  • Stabilized the rental income, and secured long term retail tenants.
  • Renewed the other anchor tenant, CN Rail for the long term on favorable terms.


In a culmination of our asset improvements, we were able to sell CITYPLACE as four separate parcels to a publicly traded real estate REIT for a total sale price of $78 million CDN in 2006.

This represents a net profit of $29 million CDN dollars in 3 years, or a gain of approximately 59%.

Furthermore this represents an approximate 190% cash return on equity.

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