By: Murray McNeill
Winnipeg Free Press
Peguis First Nation has made another major investment in the Winnipeg market with the purchase of the former Motor Vehicles Branch building on Portage Avenue.
The band said today it plans to renovate the 69,000-square-foot building at 1075 Portage Ave., to create office space for many of its community organizations as well as other First Nation companies.
"Today is momentous step of repatriation to our traditional lands in Treaty 1 Territory," Peguis Chief Glenn Hudson said in a written statement. "The facility, which will be managed by Chief Peguis Investment Corporation, is a tremendous asset for our community and will generate our own source revenue for years to come."
The band did not disclose how much it paid for the 1.4-hectare property, which also includes a large parking lot. The property had been owned by a group of local investors who purchased it from Manitoba Public Insurance Corp. after the provincial government merged the Motor Vehicle Branch operations with MPIC.
The acquisition is Peguis’s second major investment/project in the Winnipeg market in the past year.
In December it announced it has entered into a joint venture with the Manitoba Jockey club to build a new commercial development on the Jockey Club’s Assiniboia Downs property on the western edge of the city. The proposed development is to include two new hotels, a conference centre and retail space.