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True North and Southern Chiefs’ partner on Portage Place and Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn

True North Real Estate Development (TNRED) and Southern Chiefs' Organization sign an MOU on Portage Place and Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn. Photo provided by TNRED.

True North Real Estate Development Limited (TNRED) and the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) announced a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Dec. 12,  collaborating on the Portage Place redevelopment and Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn projects.

The SCO’s Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn redevelopment is taking place at the former downtown Hudson’s Bay building and TNRED will complement this project with its redevelopment at Portage Place.

“Our collective vision for both the Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn and Portage Place developments weaves together the many layers we believe are necessary for a successful downtown transformation,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels with the announcement. “Our innovative partnership demonstrates the benefit of respectful and collaborative dialogue to improve the urban health of downtown Winnipeg, creating a catalyst for others to follow from their respective communities and organizations at the local, provincial, and national level.”

Portage Place and Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn comprise nearly two million square feet of redeveloping real estate in downtown Winnipeg.

“As we have explored the avenues for social and economic opportunity through the Portage Place redevelopment, we have become increasingly more cognizant of the synergies with Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn,” said TNRED president Jim Ludlow on Dec. 12. “Together, we will bring forward thinking solutions to our collective pursuit of market and affordable housing, healthcare, Indigenous relations and reconciliation, and downtown revitalization to realize exponential social and economic benefit.”

The MOU covers five concepts:

  • Downtown campus: First Nations and reconciliation
  • City building: A Bridge Between Communities
  • Housing initiatives: Multi-family development and co-investment
  • Development and project management
  • Education and training

It will also be a model “for a new and innovative partnership among four levels of government and private enterprise, showcasing Manitoba-made solutions to our local urban challenges and bringing both projects, downtown Winnipeg, and the guiding principles of inclusion and reconciliation to the national forefront.” The two organizations will explore joint programs, investments and ownership for housing development at Portage Place, and potential collaborations on ventures in development, project management, and construction. There are also plans for working groups on public space design and trades training, and a further agreement on multi-family ownership and investment is coming in 2024.


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