City, Province Join Renaissance Brandon In Funding McKenzie Seeds Building Transformation

July 21, 2015

Released in partnership by the Province of Manitoba, City of Brandon, and Renaissance Brandon

Starting this fall, the former McKenzie Seeds buildings, a landmark in downtown Brandon since 1910, will be redeveloped into residential and commercial business space, Municipal Government Minister Drew Caldwell, City of Brandon officials, and Renaissance Brandon officials announced today.

“This innovative project will add to the vibrancy of downtown Brandon, preserving an iconic heritage building and transforming it into exciting space for homes and businesses,” said Minister Caldwell.  “This will bring more people, more business and more economic opportunity to downtown Brandon, the heart of this bustling city.”

In phase one of the project, Resland Development will convert the five-storey building into 40 two- and three-bedroom apartment units, and convert the main floor of the seven-storey building into 2,500 square feet of commercial space.  Loft-style residential suites will be located close to shopping, bus routes and educational facilities.  The project will be supported by $2.2 million in provincial tax increment financing (TIF), $1.8 million in municipal tax increment financing and a $950,000 grant from Renaissance Brandon, Brandon’s downtown development agency.  Future phases may include additional mixed-use development, Minister Caldwell noted.

Phase two of the project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2016 and will involve turning the additional six floors to be redeveloped into an additional 45 residential units, the minister said.

“I am extremely excited that the McKenzie project is proceeding.  This is the product of a lot of hard work and perseverance on the part of the developers, the province, Renaissance Brandon and the city,” said Mayor Rick Chrest, City of Brandon.  “It is a significant turning point toward the revitalization of our downtown.”

Provincial and municipal TIF funding supports improvement projects that revitalize communities, encourage economic development, enhance social and cultural development, and preserve heritage properties, Minister Caldwell said.  The redevelopment of the McKenzie Seeds buildings will have a transformational effect on downtown Brandon and is a priority project for the Government of Manitoba, the City of Brandon and Renaissance Brandon, he said, adding the redevelopment will contribute to the goals of the city’s downtown HUB Secondary Plan and the Brandon Regeneration Strategy (BRS).  The strategy is an initiative by the City of Brandon and the Government of Manitoba to improve the vitality of Brandon with a focus on physical renewal, economic development and social inclusion.

“The addition of 40 new residential units into the downtown market will have a significant impact on the health and vibrancy of our city’s core,” said Steve McMillan, board chair, Renaissance Brandon.  “Our downtown is a major economic, social and cultural hub; what happens here truly does impact the health of the city as a whole.  Today is a great day for Brandon.”

“Resland Development looks forward to working with our partners to add new housing in Brandon.  This initiative will mean by next year there will be 40 new suites in a state-of-the-art building and commercial space for businesses to thrive,” said Bob Carpenter, president, Resland Development.  “This initiative creates a vibrant place for people to live and work in downtown Brandon.”

The former McKenzie Seeds buildings served as a seed production and distribution centre between 1910 and 1994, when it housed a mail order catalogue company.  The building has been vacant since 2008.