City to offer up to $3.2M to help build plaza at True North Square

City to offer up to $3.2M to help build plaza at True North Square

The City of Winnipeg is mulling a grant worth up to $3.2 million to build the public plaza component of True North Square.

On Wednesday, council's executive policy committee will consider a recommendation next week to provide True North Sports & Entertainment with annual property-tax rebates totalling no more than $3.2 million to help the developer build an $8.9-million plaza south of Graham Avenue.

The plaza is part of a broader $400-million development whose first phase is under construction south of Graham Avenue. Under the terms of the proposed deal, the property-tax rebates would start flowing one year after an office tower is completed at the site — and the province agrees to match the city's contribution.

The funding is a form of tax-increment financing, where increases in property-tax revenue that result from improvements to a piece of land — in this case, a former surface-parking lot — are either returned to the property owner or spent on public amenities in the immediate area.

Executive policy committee has also been asked to reallocate almost $18 million of previously approved tax-increment financing in the area around True North Square for streetscaping, sidewalk and intersection improvements, as well as new skywalks that will connect Cityplace mall to RBC Convention Centre through True North Square.

If approved by EPC on Wednesday, both plans face council approval on March 22.