Life-lease towers sell

Mickey Dumont

The Portage Citizen

A mega million-dollar real estate deal finally cleared hurdles this month that saw Portage la Prairie’s life lease towers sold to a local investor.

Dalton Estates, Queens Court and Windsor Park buildings, a total of 147 lease-life units, were sold at the beginning of April for an undisclosed amount.

The three large apartment units had been listed at one time for $27 million. Sources say the buildings did not sell as an asset, but instead as corporate shares. An asset sale would be buildings and land, but sold instead as a business. The price could then have been reduced by as much as half.

“The Hayes family sold it to a corporation that assumed the shares in the business,” listing agent Orvil Cairns, Portage Realty Royal Lepage broker/realtor said.

A local family is the new owner.



Queen’s Court along with Dalton Estates and Windsor Park life-lease apartments were sold earlier this month as part of a mega million-dollar real estate deal. Mickey Dumont/Citizen photo

“Old Shoppers” building sells


A Great Canadian Dollar Store will move into the long vacant former Shoppers Drugmart retail space and will open in June. Mickey Dumont/Citizen photo

The former Shoppers Drugmart store on Saskatchewan Ave. has finally sold. The deal closed April 11 for an undisclosed through a Steinbach realtor and the listing agent here.

The building – vacant for five years – had been listed for $675,000 and carries an annual approximate $27,000 tax bill.

Rumoured many times to become the home of City of Portage la Prairie offices and meeting space, a small business centre for entrepreneurs, a large Mexican restaurant and even a Giant Tiger store, Cairns says he believes it will become a dollar deal type store.

“It’s some kind of a dollar store. An agent from Steinbach sold it to a numbered company. We had several other parties interested in the building and now that it’s sold, we have heard from yet other interested local parties,” Cairns said.

Orvil CairnsH&S

Orvil Cairns, Portage Realty Royal Lepage broker/realtor

Portage Regional Economic Development Executive Director Vern May confirmed Monday morning a Great Canadian Dollar Store will move into the long vacant retail space and will open in June.

The Portage location coincides with the brand’s 25th anniversary. Headquartered in Victoria, B.C., the chain has more than 110 stores across the country, headed by 40 franchisees. The Portage store will become the fourth location in Manitoba alongside Thompson, Swan River and Morden.
“We are a franchise with 25 years of experience, having stores across Canada who are working together for success,” says site owner Markus Reimer. “Our goal is to give each one of our customers the best experience possible. That is why each store has the latitude to carry products which reflect the community they serve. From local artisans to global suppliers, our products offer quality and value for everyday use.”
The new owners were in Portage la Prairie last week and are excited that the size of the store will afford the opportunity to carry a wide range and diverse category of products. In addition to work that will be actively taking place inside the shop to prepare for the opening later this Spring, Reimer shared that they will soon be looking for a store manager in addition to full and part time customer service staff.Those interested in the positions coming available are asked to submit their resume to

The prominent main street building languished on the Portage market for five years. “It’s such a big building (9,000 sq. ft.) and to find somebody that needs that kind of space…it has to be the right fit.”

The building was owned by the Glesby family

Cairns credits the recent flurry of interest to the recent announcements of Roquette choosing to build here and Simplot contracting to double its output.

“The Roquette and Simplot announcements had everything to do with the interest in this property. The population here can jump 2-3,000 and there is an optimism surrounding that that makes buildings like these attractive,” Cairns said.

“There’s no question that this building sold because of the recent announcements of investment here,” he said. “We’re going to see a lot, there’s no question of that. A lot of smaller businesses will start up or locate here because of it.”

Possession date will be May 1.