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This article was published 9/6/2017 (990 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The upper storeys of two historic Rosser Avenue buildings have been transformed into luxury apartment suites.
Prairie Lofts is the latest project of Jason and Robyn Sneath, and the public had their first chance to view the finished product at an open house on Thursday.
"We feel just so excited about this project, and what it represents," Robyn said. "This is our first big project as a team for Sneath Projects and to see it come together so beautifully … there was certainly an element of risk involved in this, not knowing if there’s a market for high-end apartment rentals in downtown Brandon."
The reception has been "overwhelmingly positive," and just weeks after listing the suites, four of eight are already have long-term tenants lined up. The others have short-term tenants, and will become available again in six to eight weeks. There are two two-bedroom apartments, five one-bedroom apartments and a single one-bedroom plus den. Monthly rent for the one-bedroom apartments are advertised for $978.
The buildings at 829 and 833 Rosser Ave. date back to 1905 and have been completely redeveloped.
"We saw it go through the transformation from really almost inhabitable … to now what I think are pretty cool lofts, the type of lofts that would stand up in any major centre," Jason said. "We’re very excited that we have something really cool like this in downtown Brandon."
The project all began in January 2016, when Gillian Sullivan was hired as project manager for Sneath Projects. Much of the space had not been used in decades, and the crew gutted the interior to start fresh.
"It’s actually gone really smoothly, it’s quite amazing," Sullivan said. "There were some structural issues, but that’s to be expected … The downtown neighbourhood has been very kind and patient with us."
Jason expressed his appreciation to the city, province and the community at large for their enthusiasm and support. He also thanked Sullivan and the crew.
"This is no easy task, there is nothing easy about renovating a really old place like this and you have to get pretty creative when it comes to the construction side of things," Jason said. "They’ve done an amazing job."
The suites feature high-end finishes, open concept living space and 12-foot ceilings. They have added modern elements, while embracing the history of the building.
Renaissance Brandon executive director Elisabeth Saftiuk said Prairie Lofts is an exciting redevelopment project, and its eight new residential units are a welcome addition to downtown.
"I think one of the most important elements … is that these developers in particular, selected a building with a second and third floor that was completely underutilized, and they’ve turned it into a usable space for the highest and best use, which is residential development," Saftiuk said.
Increasing residential density is critical to attracting commercial business downtown.
"Downtown residents already animate the streets at night and on the weekends, but the greater the critical mass of people living downtown, the more vital our downtown will be," she said.
Prairie Lofts received funding assistance through Renaissance Brandon’s Redevelopment Grant Program. Saftiuk explained that the program is designed to encourage property owners to make capital investments towards the redevelopment of their properties. This program will fund a maximum of 25 per cent of eligible pre-development professional fees and construction/material costs, up to a maximum of $175,000.
"The goal of the program is to leverage private capital investment in downtown Brandon. The program is in place to support the creation of a more vibrant and energetic downtown and to increase property assessment values," Saftiuk said.
Renaissance Brandon is proud of downtown’s unique feel, which Saftiuk describes it as dense, walkable and authentic.
"Projects such as this one are truly special and one project at a time, we are creating positive change in downtown and we are making our city’s core a more desirable place to live, shop, dine and visit," Saftiuk said.